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Innovation

Our commitment to innovation allows us to run, build, and maintain our network more efficiently and effectively, delivering benefits to consumers and shareholders alike. 

Electricity Transmission Innovation Strategy 2020

Find out how National Grid Electricity Transmission is innovating to create a road to net zero through its new Innovation Strategy which has been informed by and further developed with our stakeholders.

Our strategy for innovation through the RIIO-2 period and beyond is primarily focused on the decarbonisation of the UK economy through reducing our carbon footprint and helping others to reduce theirs.

We’ll create consumer value through delivery of a net-zero whole energy system at minimum achievable cost. Our goal is to innovate to make energy both cleaner and cheaper for our customers and all UK consumers.

Download strategy

Electricity Transmission innovation strategy video

Watch this video for highlights of our strategy areas and priorities.

Electricity Network Innovation Strategy 2020

We also work together with the rest of the network licensees and we’ve jointly put together our thoughts in the latest Electricity Network Innovation Strategy 2020 which you can download below.

The Strategy has been designed to identify the most important challenges and opportunities facing Great Britain’s energy networks in supporting the delivery of the UK’s Net Zero carbon emissions targets, and delivering essential services to customers across the country. The Electricity Transmission Innovation Strategy is aligned to this.

You can also visit the Energy Networks Association (ENA) strategy pages for more information. 

Download strategy   Visit ENA strategy pages

 

NIC 2020 project awarded

National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) has been successful in securing £8.12m of funding from Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition (NIC) to research the uprating of overhead lines, with the remainder being funded by National Grid.  

The RICA (Retro-Insulated Cross-Arms) research project will commence in early 2021 and aims to develop an innovative method for uprating overhead lines, allowing the voltage on 275kV overhead lines to be increased to 400kV. This potentially paves the way for uprating 400kV lines to 550kV in the future. To read our full submission please read the Network Innovation Competition: Full Submission Application.

Network Innovation Competition: Full Submission Application

 

Why innovation is so important 

Decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation are transforming our energy landscape. Against this backdrop of unprecedented change in our industry, innovation has never been so important.

Innovating new technologies, processes and solutions for our transmission network are crucial to meeting the future needs of our stakeholders and making possible the energy systems of tomorrow.

Industry leaders in innovation

Through our passion for innovation and determination to deliver for our stakeholders, National Grid Electricity Transmission is leading the way in fostering new technologies and applying them to the network.

We’re driving open innovation across the industry, by developing initiatives that create the right environment to foster that innovation. An environment that encourages curiosity, is open-minded, unafraid of failure, and agile enough to match the pace of our changing energy landscape.


Working together to deliver the future 

Our work is driven by stakeholder feedback, future technological developments and business objectives. We’re constantly seeking new people and organisations who are willing to learn about our industry and help us develop our network for the future.

Our innovation focuses on four main areas of our business:
  • managing assets: developing ways to manage new and ageing assets more effectively to extend their operational lives
  • service delivery: developing stakeholder and customer focused capabilities through exploiting existing assets and developing new service-based business propositions
  • efficient build: developing techniques, ways of working or procurement strategies to build new assets faster and at lower capital and whole life costs
  • corporate responsibility: doing the right thing, including social responsibility, safety and sustainability, in all new developments.
Innovation funding mechanisms

As part of the RIIO-T1 price control, there are two funding mechanisms that facilitate innovation across the electricity industry: the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) and the Network Innovation Competition (NIC)

 

Deeside project

Testing services – Deeside Centre for Innovation

The Deeside Centre for Innovation (DCI) is the first facility in Europe where assets associated with electricity networks can be investigated, tried and tested, prior to being rolled out on live transmission and distribution systems.

Competitions – your idea could help safeguard the future

We’re constantly looking for brilliant innovators to help us solve the challenges facing the electricity transmission network in England and Wales. Your idea could help safeguard the world around us for future generations