Distribution System Operation
As we move towards a low carbon economy, new technology and digitisation and changing customer needs are driving unprecedented change in the way energy is generated and used. As an electricity infrastructure provider, we need to make sure that our network is able to safely and securely support these changes, whilst maintaining high standards of reliability for our customers.
The general consensus in our industry (captured in the Open Networks project) is that new processes and functions are required to operate such an energy system, the whole being referred to as ‘distribution system operation’ (DSO)function. At Northern Powergrid we are helping to shape the transition to ensure it delivers maximum value for our customers.
Distribution Future Energy Scenarios
The low carbon transition, new technology, digitisation and changing customer needs are driving unprecedented change in the way energy is generated and used. It is also driving development of a smarter, more flexible network. Our Distribution Future Energy Scenarios (DFES) are helping us to plan for the future. we have developed an interactive tool that models different low carbon scenarios and understand the impact on our network both now and in the future.
Many electricity generator and consumers have the potential to reduce their demand for electricity during peak periods or, conversely, the ability to increase energy supply using existing, on-site power generation assets. Where there are known constraints on electricity distribution networks DNOs, like Northern Powergrid, are interested in entering into potential contracts with consumers which will allow them to use this demand and generate flexibility in return for financial payment.
Click here to find out more about Flexible Power
DSO Development Plan
Our DSO Development Plan describes how we aim to develop a smarter, more flexible and cost-effective network around the needs of our customers.
It demonstrates the significant progress we're already making; our collaboration with other network operators and work to support government’s Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan. It sets out our pathway to 2030, detailing how we propose to acquire the capabilities and develop the services we will need.
A Just Transition
The decarbonisation of the energy system offers the prospect of a better future with a vision made of cleaner air, well-insulated homes, sustainable and affordable mobility solutions and reduced energy bills. The challenge facing all market players, including Northern Powergrid, is to manage the transition in a way that is accessible to all. Because we believe that running a public power network comes with social responsibilities, we have a seven-point plan to underpin our transformation to a DSO in a fair and accessible energy system. You can also read about it in an article published in partnership with Durham University’s Energy Institute here.
We continue to deliver our current Business Plan (2015-23) which includes a £2.7 billion commitment to deliver improvements for our customers. As part of this, our £83 million smart grid investment programme is transforming our ability to monitor, control and communicate with thousands of our substations, creating a platform for deploying smart solutions in the years to come.
We're also planning for the next price control period, RIIO-ED2, which will run from April 2023 to March 2028.
Our 2023-28 business plan we're exploring key areas including future energy systems, network improvements and security, our role as an economic enabler supporting net zero targets and delivering for our customers through high quality, fairly priced and inclusive services.
News & Events
Documents & Resources
Get in Touch
We want our customers and other key stakeholders to be part of our journey as we seek to transition to a DSO and deliver customer-led future energy systems.
We'd welcome your views on our vision and approach, please send any feedback or questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We're planning to discuss some of the themes in our DSO development plan v1.1. as part of our engagement to develop our RIIO-ED2 business plan. To find out more about forthcoming events and register visit Customer Events and Surgeries.