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An increase in low-carbon distributed generation, electric vehicles, demand side response and energy storage are transforming our network, giving customers access to new products and services.
accommodate the changes that will enable net zero, we are transitioning from
operating as a Distribution Network Operator (DNO), to become a Distribution
System Operator (DSO). We are putting customers and communities at the
heart of the process and ensuring best value for money. In 2017, we published Supporting a Smarter Electricity System which outlines the principles we will adhere to during this transition.
Our DSO transition is underway and our latest update can be read
in Delivering DSO: A Progress Update,
which details how we have put our DSO priorities into practice.
Project Local Energy Oxfordshire (LEO) is our flagship innovation project. Through LEO,
we are seeking to replicate the conditions of the future electricity system to
better understand relationships between stakeholders in the energy system and
to inform how we should help manage the transition as a neutral market
will help inform the requirements of the transition to DSO. It is working to
develop a Neutral Market Facilitator platform that will facilitate the smarter
Flexibility services can be provided by households,
businesses and communities in our distribution regions, who are paid to flex
their demand or supply in response to constraint on our network. Their services
could include small-scale renewables, battery storage, electric vehicles,
demand side response and energy efficiency measures, to alleviate network
When an area of constraint has been identified,
we can respond by reinforcing the network, or by using flexibility services.
To help stakeholders understand how we make this decision and to embed neutrality in this process, we
commissioned Frontier Economics to develop a tool that compares the cost of
either option and assesses the benefit of optionality.
We use Constraint
Managed Zones (CMZs) to identify areas where flexibility could be deployed to
help manage the network in preference to traditional reinforcement. We now have
several flexibility contracts in operation which are helping to save money for
our customers and reduce carbon emissions. On the Isle of Islay we are
successfully utilising low-carbon energy generation to manage the network.
Within the first six months, this project had avoided 2,450 tonnes of CO2
emissions and saved customers £230,000 in the process. We have a significant
procurement pipeline for flexibility services in both our licence areas.
Payment for providing flexibility services will
commonly consist of an availability payment and/or a utilisation payment and
while the values will vary based on service type, market
liquidity, geographical location and network need, values will typically be
around £150/MW or MWh. We are seeking to procure flexibility services ahead of need from existing (or
potential) flexibility providers. For further information please click here.
We are investigating where future areas of constraint are likely
to emerge, so we can ensure the network is resilient. We commissioned a study
from sustainable energy experts, Regen in 2020, examining the possible rate of
uptake of low carbon technologies (LCTs) in both our licence areas, if the UK
is to meet its net zero targets. Download our report High
granularity projections for low carbon technology uptake - electric vehicle,
heat pumps and solar PV.
We are working to understand how the demands on
our networks are likely to change over the next decade. This will help us plan
how we will support our demand or generation customers through network
investment or flexibility. To support this process, we commissioned Regen to
complete a set of future electricity scenarios for our Southern and Northern
network distribution licence areas out to 2035. These studies are informed by
National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios.
Distributed generation, demand and storage scenarios to 2035 (2020) is the summary results report for our Southern licence area which are here.
Future Electricity Scenarios in the North of Scotland (2019)
is the summary results report for our Northern licence area and slides from the
launch webinar are here.
We are a monopoly provider of electricity networks and it regulated by Ofgem, the regulator which periodically sets the revenue/allowances that we can spend and recover from customers through a price control process. The upcoming process is referred to as "RIIO - ED2" and will cover the period from 2023 to 2028. We are preparing to submit a business plan to Ofgem for RIIO- ED2, the first draft of which is due by June 2021.A key business case component is the "strategic investment" allowance which Ofgem will set to enable us to invest in the network to enable the uptake of low carbon technologies (LCTS) to meet the Net Zero policy goals.There is uncertainty regarding the pathways to Net Zero. We are currently developing an approach to determine the "most likely" future scenarios in each of its licence areas which can be included in its business case submission to Ofgem.Ofgem will scrutinise the process and assumptions that we use to develop its network plan to enable the transition to Net Zero and have specified the process should involve consultation with national and local stakeholders.Our stakeholder engagement is in the Co-creation phase of the business plan development and will incorporate stakeholder insights into the process SSEN should adopt to take account of Local Government and community goals and ambitions for Net Zero in network planning. Our proposed process for our Future Energy plans can be found here and we invite you to provide your insights through review and answering questions which are included. The survey will close on 28th November 2020.Should you have more specific views we would value your further engagement in our Co-creation stakeholder engagement phase. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
all our reports about the DSO transition
about our tool that compares network reinforcement with flexibility services
Find out what services we are looking to procure and
register your interest to be included in future tenders
To find out more about our Flexible Solutions
and Flexibility services, visit our Flexible Connections page.
Access information on the rating and capacity of our network assets.
For information detailing the generation assets of ≥1MW that are connected to our distribution network please visit our resource register.