We are becoming a separate company

In April 2019, the Electricity System Operator is becoming a separate company within the National Grid Group. Find out more about what this change will mean.

News and events

We run innovation events to explore new ideas, develop innovation projects, and share our work. Here you will find details of past and upcoming events.

Innovating together

The SO innovation team organises and participates in events throughout the year to create a space for ideation, collaborative project development, and to share the outcomes of our innovation work. 

Upcoming events

16-17 October 2018

Low Carbon Networks Innovation (LCNI) Conference  

International Centre, St Quentin Gate, Telford

LCNI brings together experts from across the energy sector to showcase the latest electricity and gas network innovation projects and technology crucial in supporting the sector’s transition to a low carbon energy future. The Electricity System Operator will showcase its latest achievements and invite you to visit our stand to check them out and learn more about innovating with us.


26 October 2018, 11.00 – 12.00

SO Innovation Strategy Refresh for 2019/20


During this webinar, we will provide an overview of our current SO Innovation Strategy, how we arrived at our innovation priorities for 2018/19, and why we are refreshing them for 2019/20. Your input and feedback is critical to ensure we are delivering the right outcomes from our innovation activities. We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

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Past events

28 June 2018

Energy Networks Association dissemination event        

ENA offices, 4 More London Riverside, London

National Grid System Operator will present findings from some of its innovation projects at ENA’s dissemination event, focused on new technologies and commercial evolution. 

22-23 May 2018

Utility Week Live                                                    

National Exhibition Centre, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham

Visit the SO Innovation team at Stand E49.Learn about our innovation priorities and find out how to collaborate with us. Also check out a virtual reality experience that brings to life concepts like energy system balancing, system inertia and reactive power.


23 March 2018  

Open Innovation Day


Open Innovation Day gave industry and academia an opportunity to co-create innovation projects with experts within National Grid System Operator.

The Innovation team held a competitive open call, reviewed over 120 applications and selected the most promising innovation ideas to be worked up into projects. Eight groups from industry and academia were invited to Open Innovation Day, an intensive one-day project development event, and five of them were selected to further develop project ideas and ultimately apply for NIA funding. 

5-6 March 2018

SO Hackathon:Hack the Demand Curve
(Watch our video)


Hack the Demand Curve brought together 40 people from across the SO to work on three challenges facing different parts of the business:

  1. How to better forecast the future energy implications of new technologies that have few real-world precedents.
  2. How to reimagine our approach to balancing the grid in order to prepare for unknown future extremes.
  3. How to explain challenging concepts and efficiently solicit feedback to enhance the System Operability Framework process.

Three innovation projects are being taken forward that each address one of the challenges outlined above.

26 January 2018

Innovation Day: Open Data API


This Innovation Day explored how data sharing could improve transparency and be applied to yield consumer benefit.

6-7 December, 2017       

Low Carbon Networks Innovation conference


LCNI brought together hundreds of industry experts to share their knowledge and experience as the industry prepares for a low-carbon future. National Grid SO launched a prototype Virtual Reality experience to test how well the technology brought technical concepts to life through interactive game-play. We also shared the midway project results two of our in-flight Network Innovation Competition (NIC) projects, namely the Enhanced Frequency Control Capability project and the Power Potential project.



February 2018
System Operator Innovation Strategy

The first innovation strategy has been published for the System Operator, setting our innovation priorities for the next year for both electricity and gas. This strategy discusses how we have identified and prioritised these areas of focus and how our portfolio of projects is working to address them.

SO Innovation Strategy 


February 2018
Innovating with the System Operator

This brief guide introduces the SO Innovation team and our new innovation process.

Download Innovating with the ESO 

30th July 
Electricity System Operator (ESO) - NIA Innovation Annual Summary 2017/18

The first NIA Annual Summary has been launched for the ESO, as a separate business within National Grid Group. This summary highlights key innovation activities undertaken by the ESO in 2017/18, using NIA funding to improve services and develop products which benefit the future energy system for our customers and the end consumer.

Download ESO Innovation Annual Summary