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ESO calls for industry participation in CATO workshops

National Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) has been asked by Ofgem to develop proposals for the potential introduction of early model competition in onshore transmission.

The scheme, also known as the Competitive Appointed Transmission Owner (CATO) regime, aims to drive innovation and consumer value through the introduction of competition to build, own and operate transmission assets.

To develop proposals that meet the needs of all parties, the ESO is seeking input from those with a direct interest in the regime, such as design, construction or financing companies that might participate in a CATO competition.

The ESO is keen for its proposed model to be simple and accessible, so is also seeking feedback on areas such as how tenders could be launched and how ongoing uncertainty is best managed.  Developing a process that can maximise participation in the regime will help ensure the best solutions and achieve maximum consumer value.

Fintan Slye, Director of UK System Operator, said: “We’re excited about what this could mean for both the industry and consumers. We believe that early competition has the potential to unlock significant consumer value and drive innovation in network development.”

The ESO is running a series of workshops for those who want to share their views on how proposals can be developed to maximise participation and also webinars for those who want to find out more about the overall project.

ESO Introductory Webinar, 12 September. This will provide an overview of the Early Competition Plan. This webinar is aimed at anyone who has a general interest in knowing more about the project. You can sign up for this here (a recording will be published afterwards). More webinars dates will be announced.

ESO Model Development Workshop 26 September is for parties directly impacted by CATO, such as bidding into competitions and network companies. It will include design-only models, in addition to design and build. Click here for more details and to sign up. For further details about this session, please contact [email protected]. More workshop dates will be announced.