The Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design (HND) is a major step for Great Britain in delivering cheap, clean energy from offshore wind.

It sets out a single, integrated design that supports the large-scale delivery of electricity generated from offshore wind, taking power to where it's needed across Great Britain.

The HND facilitates the connection of 23GW wind, helping to deliver the Government’s ambition for 50GW connected offshore wind by 2030.

This is a first step towards more centralised, strategic network planning that is critical for delivering affordable, clean and secure power, as we journey towards our net zero future.

The Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design delivers significant benefits

Enabling the connection of this level of new offshore wind could:

  • Deliver £54bn investment in Great Britain’s network infrastructure
  • Create up to 168,000 jobs by 2030, according to independent research

Compared to connecting wind farms individually, the recommended network design should:

  • Save consumers £5.5bn (£2.18 per year for every British energy consumer) in costs from 2030 by increasing network capacity and reducing the need to pay to turn down excess wind generation (we call this paying “constraint costs”)
  • Reduce the impact on the seabed with up to a 30% smaller footprint from cables to shore
  • Reduce CO₂ emissions by 2 mega tonnes between 2030 and 2032 – equivalent to grounding all UK domestic flights for a year

Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design summary report

This summary report outlines our key messages from the more detailed reports, which set out our recommended single, integrated network design. Our proposed design enables the connection of 23GW of offshore wind.

Man reading tablet in garden

The Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design

In 2020, the Government launched the Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR), to make sure that transmission connections for offshore wind generation are delivered in the most appropriate way, taking into consideration the environment, cost to consumers, local communities and deliverability.

Since the launch of the OTNR, the UK Government has set out its ambition to deliver 50GW of offshore wind by 2030 – a significant scale up from the 11.3GW of offshore wind we currently have connected in GB.

Achieving this ambition requires a step change in both the speed and scale of the roll out of offshore wind, with both offshore and onshore transmission networks playing a crucial role in making this happen.

As part of our role as one of the project partners in the OTNR, we have developed a holistic and coordinated network design that helps get Great Britain towards achieving the ambition of 50GW of offshore wind by 2030.

The Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design represents a suite of documents that together set out a coordinated approach for connecting 23GW of offshore wind.


Changes to the Holistic Network Design

Since the publication of the HND, Transmission Owners (TOs) and in-scope offshore wind developers with non-radial connections have started to produce the Detailed Network Design (DND).

As part of that process, TOs and developers have identified potential design changes. This required ESO, with input from stakeholders, to develop an impact assessment process to assess the impact of these changes, against the baseline of the HND, using the four HND design criteria. 

ESO have now completed the first impact assessment which identified a design that presents benefits across several Network Design objectives compared to the original HND design (the ‘baseline’). The outcome of this impact assessment is explained in the documents below.

ESO letter to Ofgem – South Cluster impact assessment outcome

South Cluster impact assessment outcome summary

A summary report which sets out key messages and brings together the Holistic Network Design (HND) and Network Options Assessment 2021/22 Refresh (NOA Refresh)

Detailed report identifying the network needs to enable connection of 23GW of offshore wind, including the needs associated with the offshore and onshore transmission network. 

A refreshed version of the NOA which takes into consideration the recommendations set out in the HND and identifies if there are further, wider onshore network needs - and when they are needed by. 

Our current view on the changes that need to be made to codes, standards and licences to enable delivery of the HND.

There are also several other reports within the Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design suite of documents – these can be accessed below.

Find out more

A Holistic Network Design for Offshore Wind

A closer look at what is needed to connect 23GW of offshore wind by 2030.

Interactive map

Visit our interactive map to have a look at the requirements for the future transmission network.

NOA Refresh

Learn more about the wider onshore network requirements needed to achieve the 2030 ambition.

Offshore Coordination Project

Find out more about the offshore coordination project.