National Grid ESO - sunrise in field

Our Early Competition Phase 3 consultation has launched

Our Early Competition project is working with the industry to transform the way Great Britain’s electricity system is designed and built – a key part of our ambition to be able to operate at zero carbon in 2025.

Project lead Hannah Kirk-Wilson shares more insight into progress so far and our phase 3 consultation!

Working with partners from inside and outside the energy industry, we are looking at how Early Competition can be introduced into developing our electricity networks.

This means organisations can compete for the design, build and ownership of onshore transmission solutions. Early Competition will help encourage new ways of working and has potential to deliver millions of pounds in savings for consumers.

Early Competition refers to competition that occurs prior to the detailed design, surveying and consenting phases of asset development.

The plan will describe an end-to-end process of how early competition may work, set out how models for early competition could be implemented and outline the roles and responsibilities of all parties in the end-to-end process.

We know the energy transition must be affordable and that competition is vital for encouraging innovation and keeping prices as low as possible.

Our role is to focus on the mechanism by which early competition is run through development of an end to end model. Our plan focuses on everything from code and licence changes, through to the cost of implementation and the roles which different parties could play.

What has the project delivered so far?

The first two phases of our project have seen an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement, with webinars, bilateral meetings and feedback all helping to shape our approach.

We have also set up the ESO Networks Stakeholder Group, chaired by Dame Fiona Woolf. This group is made up of experts from across the industry and is encouraged to challenge us on our approach to stakeholder engagement and to ensure fair representation and consideration of stakeholder views.

The valuable stakeholder feedback we have received has allowed us to refine our proposals to set out a number of firm positions for our early competition model and include a first indication of timescales for implementation.

Phase 3 – your chance to have your say

We’re pleased to launch our Phase 3 consultation today. It’ll be open until 15 February 2021. This is the final consultation on our Early Competition Plan.

We’re holding a launch webinar on 15 December where we’ll provide a verbal overview of the consultation proposals. This will be followed by a series of Q & A sessions in late January and early February focusing on specific consultation areas. You can sign up here.

We welcome any length of written responses to our consultation, and these can be submitted via email or by filling in our proforma on our website. We are also happy to arrange for verbal feedback through bilateral meetings.

Once all feedback is received, we’ll submit our final consultation to Ofgem in April 2021.

To engage with the project, visit our website