Ian Larsson

A day in the life of Ian Larsson

Our colleagues are at the heart of the ESO, working hard to operate a safe and reliable electricity system all whilst supporting the transition to a greener, and more efficient system for future generations.

How did you come to join National Grid ESO?

After completing my master’s degree in Maths and Physics from the University of Warwick, I applied to National Grid’s graduate scheme. I successfully got a place as a power systems engineer in the ESO, starting the 18 month scheme with a 6 month placement with the Black Start and Business Continuity team, now the resilience and restoration team. I then left the ESO to work for NG GT Cyber Security for 6 months before returning to the ESO to join the Scotland Regional Network Access Planning team where I then stayed and took up a permanent position at the end of the graduate scheme.

Can you tell us about your background and your roles within the ESO?

My background is in Maths and Physics. After university although further study was an option for me, I wanted to get experience of the application of what I’d studied. I was particularly interested in Power Generation and Nuclear Physics from my studies and so the energy industry was a good fit. It was very interesting to see the difference between engineering and physics, particularly in terminology, and it took me quite some time to recalibrate to the new approach.

I have only had two roles in the ESO. My current one I will discuss below, so I will explain my previous role in Black Start and Business Continuity here. The team name is very long as the team is an amalgamation of the Black Start team and the Business Continuity team.  I was a Black Start engineer in the team and was responsible for the auditing of several Black start station in the North of the country and planning a Black Start test in Scotland. Planning of the test lead me to work alongside the Scotland Regional Network Access Planning team and I became very interested in what they did. Hence why I then joined that team on my return to the ESO.

What does your current role entail? / Tell us about your job?

I am a delivery engineer for the Scotland region of NAP. Delivery engineers are responsible for delivering the short-term plan for a particular region of the country, mine being Scotland. The short-term plan covers 1 week and starts at 3 or 4 weeks ahead (dependant on team numbers but usually 3 weeks ahead). Week ahead is usually abbreviated to WA. The role then cycles from 3WA (or strategy 1 week as it is sometimes called) to 2WA to WA to day ahead. Each day itself is then delivered on the day by the ENCC.

As a regional planner and with the assistance of the national planner, it is my role to check that the outage plan is secure to the standards of the SQSS and optimised so as to minimise costs to ourselves and the end consumer. I work with a vast number of customers including: TOs, DNOs, and generators whom all must be kept informed of changes to the plan. I accept or reject proposed outages from the TO (SPT and SSE in Scotland) based on OLTA studies of the network and modelling the other proposed outages.

I then handover the plan to the Transmission Security Engineers (TSE) in the ENCC. The TSEs then prepare the switching documents overnight and release the equipment to the TOs as it is requested.