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NORTHERN POWERGRID TO HOST FINAL EVENT IN SERIES OF DIGITAL DISCUSSIONS TO HELP SHAPE RIIO-ED2 BUSINESS PLAN

Digital Discussions.JPGThis week Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the electricity network that powers everyday life for 8 million people across 3.9 million homes and businesses in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, will host the last in its current series of engaging virtual roundtables.

The event series is part of wide-ranging engagement which started in early spring and will continue in the weeks and months ahead.  Learnings from the events will be used to help shape the network operator’s RIIO-ED2 business plan, which will be submitted to Ofgem at the end of 2021, and outline the company’s strategic direction for the next five years.

Each year, Northern Powergrid invites stakeholders from across its region to take part in a series of interactive roundtables that shape the priorities of its strategy, and this year’s roundtable programme has been enhanced to support its robust RIIO-ED2 planning approach.

As part of its commitment to continue to actively engage safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, Northern Powergrid invited stakeholders to participate in a programme of virtual roundtables this year, enabling them to share plans, collective needs and goals for the region, and highlight any pressing challenges remotely.

The series covered a range of topics central to Northern Powergrid’s business planning, including climate change adaptation, environmental impact, innovation, skills agenda and social impact. Stakeholders from across academia, local governance and industry were invited to give their views. The series will close on 19 June 2020 with an event designed to give stakeholders the opportunity to raise and discuss any current areas of interest to them which could also help inform Northern Powergrid’s future thinking. Those interested in attending should email yourpowergrid@northernpowergrid with their details.

Patrick Erwin, Policy and Markets Director at Northern Powergrid, said: “These dynamic forums are key to ensuring our network evolves alongside our customers’ changing needs. The people and businesses across our patch are diverse, and these engaging sessions unite us in sharing ideas that will inform our business planning and ultimately deliver our net zero carbon emission energy system.”

John Henry Looney, Managing Director of Sustainable Direction who joined the Innovation and Environmental Impact roundtables, said: “It was refreshing to be part of such open and engaging discussions with those in charge of building the UK’s future power network. The Northern Powergrid team genuinely took the opportunity to listen and understand the feedback, opinions and challenges of its stakeholders, and it was a pleasure to be involved and to listen and contribute and support the company’s ongoing business planning.

“Grid connections remain a mystery to many in my experience, but through events like this and new innovative tools using big data – such as AutoDesign – Northern Powergrid is making huge steps to engage more people and break down barriers to accessibility.”

In the engaging online sessions with facilitators and virtual breakout rooms, stakeholders who have attended so far were given the space to delve into the details of each roundtable and explore Northern Powergrid’s emerging thinking in conversation with others in each field.

More engagement is planned as part of the business planning process and stakeholders can also send questions and/or suggestions to yourpowergrid@northernpowergrid.com.