5. Way Forward

The ETYS is learning from the NOA pathfinders. The road to determining the future network capability requirements and opportunities is one that needs to be refined and developed constantly.

One of the ways we do this is through the NOA pathfinders.

The NOA pathfinders look to investigate specific network requirements and open the network development to a wider range of participants than before, GB-wide or regional. 

The future development of the ETYS and NOA processes will be shaped by the NOA pathfinder projects which aim to resolve additional challenges related to thermal, high voltage and stability constraints.

Pathfinders already underway:

Voltage Pathfinder

Aims to find a solution to resolve regional high voltage issues.

Stability Pathfinder

Aims to address our immediate needs of national inertia and deliver local short circuit level needs in Scotland

Constraint Management Pathfinder

Aims to resolve network constraint issues and lower balancing costs

Regional high voltage pathfinder projects

Managing high voltages on the transmission system continues to be a growing challenge for the ESO. Over the last decade, the reliance on using balancing services for reactive power control has increased, thereby increasing the costs to manage high voltage. 

We are taking steps in planning timescales to better manage the situation. We are addressing these challenges in the short term through short term contracts and in the long term by undertaking our voltage pathfinder projects as a means to establish a new process within the NOA.

We summarise below the progress we have made in the last 12 months

Mersey (short-term and long-term)

In January 2020, we published the results of the short-term tender for a 1-year reactive power service from April 2020. A combination of Inovyn, Rocksavage and the agreed operational action(s) were selected as the most economic solutions to meet the requirements for the tender period. These solutions have been in place since April 2020. 

In May 2020, we published the results of the Long-term tender for a 9-year reactive power service contract in the Mersey region. A combination of Peak Gen 200 MVAr Reactor and Zenobe, a 38 MVAr of reactive capability from battery storage were selected as the most economic solutions to meet the requirements over the tender period.

In September 2020, an Expression of Interest (EOI) was launched for another short-term reactive Power service to meet a static need in the Mersey region for 1 year from April 2021. We are now finalising the procurement approach and will announce it shortly.

North of England and Pennine

We prioritised the North of England and Pennine region following our voltage screening process and have been working towards a tender for this region. We’re using the lessons learnt from the Mersey pathfinders to shape and improve our process for the tender. 

GB Voltage Screening Report

In June 2021, we published our voltage screening report that presented the methodology and approach we take to identify regions with high voltage issues.

We developed this report as part of our commitment in our RIIO2 Business Plan to provide you with more information on our voltage screening process.

Following previous screening exercise, we have successfully identified and run some high voltage pathfinder projects such as the concluded Mersey Pathfinder project and the ongoing Pennine pathfinder project. We identified further regions which could face high voltage issues in the future; these included

  • West Midlands,
  • London,
  • South Central,
  • South West Peninsula,
  • North Wales and
  • South Wales

The pathfinder project for Pennine is currently undergoing to procure solutions for this region. We will continue to assess issues elsewhere on the network and consider what the next priority region will be. Due to the changing nature of the system, this might be a region we have already identified or a new region.

You can download this report from here.


Stakeholder engagement

The ETYS and NOA documents are continually evolving to meet our ambitions set out in the ESO Forward Plan. As the documents expand to a wider audience, we hope you will help shape them to become even more valuable for you and others to use.

We would like to hear your views on how we should shape both ETYS and NOA documents to make them more valuable. Our draft timetable for ETYS and NOA 2020 and 2021 stakeholder activities is shown below.

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We welcome your views on this year’s ETYS, what works well and what we need to improve. Our stakeholder activities are a great way for us to:

  • learn more about the views and opinions of all our stakeholders;
  • provide constructive feedback and debate;
  • create open, two-way communication about assumptions, analyses and findings; and
  • let stakeholders know how we have used their feedback.

There are many ways you can let us have your feedback, including:

  • taking part in our written ETYS consultation (planned for April 2021);
  • consultation events as part of our customer seminars;
  • industry engagement events e.g. operational forums, ENA meetings, etc;
  • emails direct to transmission.[email protected]; and
  • stakeholder meetings.

Jump to another section of the ETYS

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1. What is the ETYS?

Find out about the ETYS and how this fits with our entire planning process

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2. Network Development Inputs

Here is more information on how we prepare the ETYS

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3. Electricity Transmission System

You can find out about the various regions of the transmission system and their capabilities

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4. Year-round probabilistic analysis

You will find how we are applying year round conditions to assess the capability of the system

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5. Way forward

Find out about how we are going to improve the ETYS and how you can get involved

6. Further information and appendices

Get to the appendices, glossary and other helpful contact information

Get in touch

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