Pennines Pathfinder updates

February 2022 - Pennines Pathfinder Conclusion

NOA Pennines High Voltage Pathfinder results in multi-million-pound consumer savings to deliver engineering solutions needed for tomorrow’s greener grid. 

We have today, 7 February 2022, announced the results of the NOA Pennines High Voltage Pathfinder. As part of introducing greater competition onto the network, National Grid ESO’s second voltage pathfinder compares market-based solutions against transmission owner solutions.   

Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm Project 3 Projco Ltd’s converter station from its offshore wind farm and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) will provide 700 MVAr reactive power capability in the Pennines regions between 2024 and 2034 following a competitive tender process.

Please see our results letter and results table for further information.

What was the requirement?

This High Voltage Pathfinder identified two areas where reactive power solutions would be needed in the years ahead. In the North East, the 200 MVAr requirement was driven by the closure of Hartlepool power station, while in West Yorkshire regions, the 500 MVAr requirement was driven by closure of power stations and changes to the electricity network.

How did we arrive at the outcome?

To deliver greatest value for the consumer and building upon the lessons learned from the first high voltage pathfinder in the Mersey region, we have compared commercial providers of reactive power to counterfactual solutions by NGET. 

National Grid ESO ran a two-stage pathfinder event with the support of the TO and DNOs (Northern Powergrid and Electricity North West). The first stage consisted of technical submissions where parties received feasibility assessments of their solutions to support their bids. Following commercial submissions, National Grid ESO conducted the economic assessment as outlined in our commercial assessment methodology.

What is the impact?

The successful solutions are worth £22.5m with estimated multi-million-pound savings for the end consumer. 

Julian Leslie, Head of Networks at National Grid ESO said: “These services take us another step closer to 100% zero carbon operation, showcasing Britain’s innovation in engineering and driving competition within the system, ultimately saving consumers millions of pounds.

“Reactive power capability is vital for managing voltage and being able to operate a zero-carbon system of the future so we’re excited to see that a wind farm’s onshore transmission asset will deliver reactive power for the first time in Britain.”


The below dates were key milestones in the tender process:

  • 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.

  • 4 October 2021: The commercial tender phase 2 starts, lasting six weeks, that will include commercial and Q&A webinars.

  • 15 November 2021: Commercial submissions including programme capability review and contract declaration form received.

  • 17 January 2022: Pathfinder participants notified of outcome

  • 7 February 2022: Industry publication of results

  • 1 April 2024: Contract start date.

Please contact us at [email protected] for further queries.

Documentation can be found on the Transmission Constraint Management web page.


During the tender, we held technical and commercial webinars. Recordings are available below.

Technical webinar recording

Technical webinar slides

Commercial Q&A Webinar

Commercial webinar Q&A

Commercial webinar presentation