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  • Delivering a Smarter Electricity System

    Our Transition to DSO

  • SSEN strongly supports the net zero emissions targets put in place by the UK and Scottish Governments and will play an active role in delivering on this ambition.

    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 from a new range of providers. To accommodate the changes that will enable net zero, SSEN is transitioning from a Distributed Network Operator (DNO), to become a Distribution System Operator (DSO). 

    In 2017 SSEN published Supporting a Smarter Electricity System report outlining the principles we will adhere to in our transition from a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to a Distribution System Operator (DSO), what that means for our wider network and, most importantly, our customers. 

    In 2018, SSEN issued a consultation to receive feedback on key aspects of this report from stakeholders. The responses were later published in Supporting a smarter electricity system: Your response and discussed at events held in our north and south regions over that summer.

    SSEN and the wider industry have made significant progress since the publication of Supporting a Smarter Electricity System and in November 2019 we published Delivering DSO: A Progress Update detailing how SSEN has put its DSO priorities into practice.

  • Delivering DSO: A Progress Update builds upon the principles set out in 2017 and introduces our three DSO building blocks, which we believe will be fundamental to the success of the transition:

  • Building blocks
  • It also includes the key projects launched, the partnerships created, and the lessons learnt in support of the transition to a smarter, flexible network. We are seeking all stakeholder views on the next steps we should take, to ensure our transition to a neutral market facilitator role takes place efficiently, cooperatively and in the best interests of all market users. If you would like to respond to the questions listed at the back of the document please either respond online here, or via email or to raise any issues you have please email us at:

  • Proactive flexibility delivering smarter electricity

    SSEN has announced an industry-first agreement with Piclo, the independent marketplace for buying and selling smart grid flexibility services, to unlock Proactive Flexibility to build a smarter electricity network. Proactive Flexibility unlocks new opportunities for businesses, households and communities based in SSEN’s distribution regions, to be paid for the provision of flexibility services. These services could range from small-scale renewables, battery storage, electric vehicles, demand side response and even energy efficiency measures that alleviate network constraint. 

    Payment for providing flexibility services will commonly consist of an availability payment and a utilisation payment, and typically be around £300/MWh. SSEN is seeking to procure flexibility services ahead of need from existing (or potential) flexibility providers. Register here and realise the benefits of playing an active part in the transition to a smarter, more flexible electricity network. For further information please see here.

    SSEN has developed a tool with Frontier Economics which compares the cost of flexibility services with network reinforcement. By publishing the tool, SSEN is helping households, businesses and communities that may be considering participation in flexibility markets, to understand how options for accommodating demand growth on the network are assessed. To read the report, click here.

  • Your Electricity Grid in 2032 - future electricity growth scenarios

    We have been working to understand how the demands on our networks are likely to change over the next decade. This is to help us plan for how we will support our demand or generation customers through network investment or flexibility. To support this process, we have commissioned Regen to complete a set of future electricity scenarios for SSEN’s Southern and Northern network distribution licence areas. These licence area studies are informed by National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios.  


    • The Regen study was completed for the Southern licence area in 2018 and the summary results report can be downloaded here and slides from the launch webinar here.


    • The Regen study was completed for the Northern licence area in 2019 and the summary results report can be downloaded here and slides from the launch webinar here

    • The Regen study was completed for the Northern and Southern licence areas in 2020, examining the uptake of low carbon technologies (LCTs) required to put the UK on the road to net zero. The data is broken down to a street-by-street level,  to understand the potential impacts on SSENs low voltage network and guide network investment.   The findings and methodology, “High granularity projections for low carbon technology uptake - electric vehicle, heat pumps and solar PV”, can be downloaded here. We discussed the report at our webinar on the  13th July 2020, with presentations from both SSEN and Regen




  • Powerlines

    Download report into LCT uptake

    Find out where low carbon technologies (LCTs) will appear on our networks. Download
  • Download the Progress Update

    Download the 2019 'Delivering DSO' A Progress Update

  • DSO Document Library

    You can use our library to find all DSO documents within innovation.


    DSO Library
  • Flexible Connections

    To find out more about our Flexible Solutions and Flexibility services, visit our Flexible Connections page. 

    Flexible Connections
  • Capacity Portal

    Access information on the rating and capacity of our network assets.


    Find out more
  • System Wide Resource Register

    For information detailing the generation assets of ≥1MW that are connected to our distribution network please visit our resource register.

              • Our Digital Strategy (December 2019)

                SSEN Digital Strategy Cover
              • Our EV Strategy (March 2020)

                EV Strategy cover
              • Links to key projects


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