At National Grid ESO our projects all contribute towards our effort to make the grid ready to operate with 100% zero carbon electricity by 2025. They range from Distributed ReStart and Power Potential to NOA Pathfinders and Net Zero market reform.

Innovation projects

We are on track to fully decarbonise the system by 2035. To help us achieve this, we have a portfolio of active innovation projects funded by both the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) and Network Innovation Competition (NIC). Plus, we’re aiming to undertake large, collaborative, whole system projects using Ofgem’s new Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).

You can find out more about our projects below.


NIA annual summary 2021-22

Our latest report provides a progress update on all the innovation projects completed or underway in the last 12 months.

National Grid ESO - Distributed Restart project - lighthouse.jpg

Distributed ReStart

Explores how Distributed Energy Resources can be used to restore power in the event of a partial or total blackout on the National Electricity Transmission system.

Power Potential

The Power Potential project, which is a world first, could save energy consumers over £400m by 2050 and generate up to an additional 4 GW in the South East region of the UK.

The Enhanced Frequency Control Capability (EFCC) Project

We teamed up with industry and academia to find new ways to stabilise the Great Britain’s (GB) electricity transmission system as the nation’s energy becomes greener.

Stability Market Design

The Stability Market Design project will consider current GB stability arrangements and investigate the best option for an end-to-end stability market design.

Strategic projects

Father and son by water with net

Net Zero market reform

ESO’s Net Zero Market Reform project was established to examine holistically the changes to current GB electricity market design that will be required to achieve net zero.

Early Competition mountain with glowlines

Early Competition

Early competition refers to competition that occurs prior to the detailed design, surveying and consenting phases of solution development.

National Grid ESO - UK offshore wind farms under construction - next event - wind turbines sea

Offshore Coordination Project

The Offshore Coordination Project has been set up by the ESO with support from Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.


NOA Pathfinders

There are three Pathfinder projects, each designed to solve specific problems in the system.

Wind powerplant and technology

Network Planning Review (NPR)

The Network Planning Review (NPR) has been established by the ESO to ensure that network design and investment processes in GB are fit for the future.


ENA Smarter Networks Portal

We are a member of the Energy Networks Association (ENA). The Smarter Networks Portal is where you can find the latest information, events and outcomes from all NIA and NIC funded projects undertaken by the ESO and other members of the ENA.

Visit the portal