Pennines Pathfinder updates

NOA High Voltage Pathfinder – Pennines

The NOA High Voltage Pathfinder – Pennines is looking for near term and long term voltage support in the North of England and Pennines region.

Latest updates

21 October 2021 - We held a Commercial Q&A webinar where we responded to your unanswered questions from our initial Commercial webinar on 14th October as well as taking on more of your questions. The recording of the session is available below.

Commercial Q&A Webinar

14 October 2021 - We held a commercial webinar presentation outlining commercial bid submission documents, key contract terms and commercial assessment methodology followed by a Q&A session both are available below:

Commercial webinar presentation

Commercial webinar Q&A

27 September 2021 - We have published a summary of the feedback on our proposed contract terms - there were over 80 items of feedback. From the feedback, we have identified changes to the standard contract terms which have been marked up in the document with the suffix “September 2021 Comparison” and have provided a new version with the suffix “September 2021”. These documents are available on the Transmission Constraint Management webpage. We welcome feedback and questions on the documents and these will be responded to in our commercial webinars.

20 September 2021 - We have published an updated Tender Information Pack and FAQs to reflect updated timeframe. We have also uploaded the Programme Capability document that was sent to tenderers in August.

21 April 2021 - We have published an updated Pennine Tender Submission Proforma (v2) to include Greystones as an option on the Transmission worksheet. This is available on the Transmission Constraint Management webpage.

9 April 2021

The technical webinar recording and slides are now available along with an updated FAQ document.

Technical webinar recording

Technical webinar slides

Please note that slide 9 of the technical webinar slides has not been updated to reflect the update issued on 6 April.

Link to new FAQs

6 April 2021

We have issued an updated Pennine tender information pack (v1.1) to clarify the effectiveness values found on slide 29. This is available on the Transmission Constraint Management webpage.

26 March 2021

We have launched our Pennine NOA Voltage Pathfinder tender for a reactive power service to meet a static need in the Pennine region. The 10-year contract, starting 1 April 2024, is part of a continued approach to procuring reactive power to determine whether a third party can deliver a more economic solution compared to the network asset alternative. This tender is open to potential providers embedded within the distribution network as well as at transmission level, including those that are not yet connected.. You can find the tender pack on our Transmission constraint management webpage where we publish information for services that we need. 

As mentioned previously, the initial phase will be focused on technical submissions and we’ll hold webinars on at 13:00 on Wednesday 31 March covering technical aspects and at 13:00 on Tuesday 27 April for a Q&A session and if you have any queries , please use our new mailbox [email protected]

26 February 2021

We will launch our Pennine NOA Voltage Pathfinder tender on 26 March and we will provide  the tender pack on this webpage.  The initial phase will be focused on technical submissions during the opening seven week window but we will also be sharing contract heads of terms that we will be seeking feedback on.

To support the technical submission window we’ll hold two webinars as follows:

  • Technical webinar on Wednesday 31 March – Join us as we discuss the system need, technical criteria and assessment principles.

Sign up here

  • Q&A session on Tuesday 27 April – Join us for a session dedicated to your questions in advance of the technical submissions. 

Sign up here

The key dates for our timeline running through to when we announce the results of the tender are:

  • 26 March 2021: The technical tender phase 1 starts and lasts seven weeks.
  • 14 May 2021: Providers submit technical proposals.
  • 31 May 2021: The TO/DNO feasibility assessment starts, lasting three months.
  • TBC - October 2021: The commercial tender phase 2 starts, lasting six weeks, that will include commercial and Q&A webinars.
  • TBC - November 2021: Commercial submissions including programme capability review and contract declaration form received.
  • Early January 2022: Tender award.
  • 1 April 2024: Contract start date.

Please contact us at [email protected] with any queries you have.

29 January 2021

We are pleased to announce that, following the delay to the next NOA Voltage Pathfinder, a tender is expected to be published prior to the end of March 2021. The tender is expected to last up to 40 weeks with an outcome no later than January 2022 for contract start in 2024. Over the last two months we have been able to simplify and reduce levels of interactivity across the Pennine and North of England region such that we can tender for two distinct sub-regions. This simplifies what we will provide to the market and what we will ask of providers. Below is an updated map indicating the approximate region providers will need to be located within for illustrative purposes. As part of the tender pack, we will define exactly the two regions and specify the approach to assessing effectiveness of connections within each of them (they may be different). We expect to be tendering for a minimum of 700MVAr across the 2 regions. We expect that the tender will be open to both new and existing connections at transmission and distribution levels, including aggregators.

map of the two regions covered by the Pennine voltage pathfinder

Following the Mersey pathfinder lessons learned, we have been working with the transmission owner (TO) NGET to identify site-specific information – namely sites with no availability or are not available for delivery in April 2024. Whilst this work is ongoing, we will share this information when we publish the tender with other site-specific information available upon request.  

We have also been discussing the scope of studies with the DNOs accounting for lessons learned from the Mersey Pathfinder. We will work with the DNOs to assess sites that fall into the identified regions as part of the tender. 

We can confirm that the process will follow that of Mersey. Industry will participate in an open commercial tender. The TO will follow their normal process but adhering to the same timelines and submission criteria as tender parties. 

Please contact us at [email protected] with any queries you have. 


Previous updates

The next Pathfinder tender for voltage support in the Pennines area has been delayed but we’ll be providing an update in January 2021.

This delay gives us more time to refine the requirements for this complex region, which has a high level of interactivity across sub-regions. We’ll be simplifying what we’re asking for and providing more site-specific information to network owners. As well as addressing some questions about TO participation, and some wider strategic challenges that the ‘learn by doing’ approach has identified.