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Innovation competition

We’re looking for brilliant innovators to help us solve the biggest challenges facing the electricity transmission network in England and Wales.

At National Grid, we’re committed to being an innovative leader in energy management and to safeguarding the world around us for future generations. Building a better future is something we can’t achieve alone, so we’re inviting innovators across the industry to help us confront and resolve the big challenges facing our electricity transmission business.

Are you up for the challenge? The best ideas which are seen to meet the challenges will be funded under the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA). This is a fantastic opportunity!

Here are the three key challenges we’d love to work with you on.

CHALLENGE 1: Cable asset health indicators

We always want to find improved ways of predicting how assets will degrade. The better the estimates we have, the better we are able to plan our maintenance, repairs and replacements, all of which help to keep costs down. Can you help develop new measurement techniques to access the condition of new and in-service cables and their accessories – and reliably predict how their condition will change over their lifetime?

CHALLENGE 2: Transforming civil infrastructure for all transmission assets

Whenever we build electricity infrastructure, civil engineering work makes up a big proportion of the final costs. As a leading asset management and engineering company, we know what we’re doing now is good, but we are always looking to do things better. So we’re looking for solutions that meet the same specifications as our existing civils work, but do it better, cheaper or quicker. Can you help us develop new construction methods and inspection techniques for civil infrastructure in substations and overhead lines?

CHALLENGE 3: Increasing transmission boundary power flows

Ofgem sets incentives for our business to encourage investment on our network to keep energy bills low. One way of boosting the savings we pass on to consumers is by increasing the amount of power that flows across our transmission boundaries.

When power flows are limited across these boundaries, this increases the cost of energy. If we can find new ways to increase power flow across these boundaries, we can have more options when investing in the network to lower bills for consumers. What technologies or ideas do you think could make a difference here? It might be new materials, new asset designs, power electronic solutions, or something far more visionary.

How to get involved

Send a proposal to [email protected] by 4 December 2017. It should contain:

  • A covering letter that contains an overview of your idea with clear and concise aim related to one of our three innovation challenges.
  • A completed submission document for a 2-3 month feasibility study that will investigate your idea.

The innovation team will pick the best ideas to present at National Grid, where they will be assessed for funding. This will involve:

  • A 15-minute presentation on how and why your project would deliver value in this area.
  • A clear statement of what work and developments are needed to achieve the potential benefits of this project, along with a high-level plan to make significant progress towards these in the next 2-3 years.
  • A list of any data or resources related to our business that would help progress your idea.
  • Be available to present on one of the following dates –11, 12 or 13 December 2017.

Your proposals must be compliant with the NIA funding criteria and you must be willing to work under the terms of the standard NIA contract.

If you have any questions please get in touch at [email protected]

Innovation team | Electricity Transmission Owner