The Network Option Assessment (NOA) provides our recommendation for which network reinforcement projects should receive investment - and when. While we provide economic recommendations for reinforcements that will enable the flow of electricity around the transmission system, to facilitate the evolving energy landscape, we are not responsible for making the final decision on what, where and when to invest.

The NOA 2021/22 Refresh replaces the previously published NOA 2021/22 and incorporates the recommended offshore network design set out in the Holistic Network Design (HND).

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Download the NOA publication

Download NOA 2021/22 Refresh interactive report

Read NOA 2021/22 Refresh report

The NOA Refresh and The Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design

The Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design helps to unlock the UK Government's ambition for 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030, by setting out a single, integrated approach that supports large scale delivery of electricity from offshore wind, to where it is needed across Great Britain.

The NOA 2021/22 Refresh forms part of the suite of documents that make up the Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design.

As we move towards an energy landscape that is dominated by renewable and zero carbon electricity, we need to take a more strategic and coordinated approach to transmitting large volumes of renewable generation to our demand centres across GB. Whilst our current network meets our needs for today, looking to the future, we need to evolve the transmission network to make sure it is capable of enabling delivery of the Government's 2030 offshore wind ambition and net zero target.

 

What NOA can and can't do

The NOA 2021/22 Refresh can…
  • Recommend the most economic reinforcements, whether infrastructure build or alternatives, for investment over the coming years, to meet bulk power transfer requirements as outlined by the ETYS. 

  • Recommend when investments should be made under the single LW21+ scenario to deliver an efficient, coordinated, and economic future transmission system.

  • Recommend whether the TOs should start, continue, hold, or stop reinforcement projects to make sure they are completed at a time that will deliver the most benefit to consumers

  • Inform the HND of the most economic reinforcements for the onshore system that complement the HND offshore network for 2030.

The NOA 2021/22 Refresh cannot...
  • Address network compliance with NETS SQSS. Additional onshore reinforcements may be identified for network compliance, which is an integral part of designing a secure, operable, transmission system capable of facilitating net zero.

  • Recommend customer connections. The NOA only recommends the most economic reinforcement to resolve wider network issues. 

  • Insist that reinforcement options are pursued. We can only recommend options based on our analysis. The TOs or other relevant parties are ultimately responsible for what, where and when they invest.

  • Comment on the details of any specific option, such as how it could be planned or delivered. The TOs or other relevant parties decide how they implement their options.

  • Evaluate the specific designs of any option, such as the choice of equipment, route, or environmental impacts. These types of decisions can only be made by the TOs or other relevant parties when the options are at a more advanced stage.

  • Assess network asset replacement projects which don’t increase network capability or individual customer connections. 

  • Procure products or services. The NOA may highlight a need to explore options further, either through the NOA Pathfinder projects or further engagement with the industry.

  • Recommend options that offer no benefit to the boundaries we assess

What is the NOA 2021/22 Refresh?

The NOA  2021/22 Refresh is a key part of the network development process that will enable the delivery of the Government's offshore wind ambition. The NOA Refresh takes into consideration the recommended offshore network design that is set out in the HND, and identifies where on the onshore electricity transmission network there is a need for wider network reinforcement, to enable this additional electricity generation to flow from offshore wind farms to where it is needed, onshore.

The NOA process follows the previously published and approved NOA methodology. However, to align with the HND and ensure a consistent approach, some adjustments are necessary for this NOA 2021/22 Refresh. Where practicably possible, NOA 2021/22 Refresh follows the existing methodology, but differs in the following ways:

Use of single scenario

Find out more

The NOA Refresh uses a single scenario that has been updated to include offshore connections for all generators in scope of the HND. We call this scenario LW21+.

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HND Essential options

Find out more

To successfully deploy and connect the amount of offshore wind needed to achieve the Government's 2030 ambition, there are a number of different places on the network that need reinforcing. These reinforcements have been identified as HND essential options.

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Required in Service Date (RISD)

Find out more

We have introduced a new term RISD for NOA Refresh projects that are essential to facilitate the 2030 targets but have an EISD (earliest in service date) of later than 2030 are given an RISD.

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Investment recommendations 

North of Scotland

HND Essential Options for North of Scotland 

Code

Option description

EISD*

RISD**

Earliest optimal delivery date

BBNC

Beauly to Blackhillock 400 kV double circuit addition

2030

 

2030

BLN4

Beauly to Loch Buidhe 400 kV reinforcement

2031

2030

2030

BPNC

A new 400 kV double circuit between Blackhillock and Peterhead

2031

2030

2030

E4D3

Eastern Scotland to England link: Peterhead to Drax offshore HVDC

2029

 

2029

E4L5

Eastern Scotland to England 3rd link: Peterhead to the south Humber offshore HVDC

2031

2030

2030

PSDC

Spittal to Peterhead HVDC reinforcement

2030

 

2030

SLU4

New network need between Loch Buidhe and Spittal

2030

 

2030

TKUP

East Coast Onshore 400 kV Phase 2 reinforcement

2032

2030

2030

*EISD is currently based on the current regulatory and consenting process and acceleration

** Accelerating these projects would require the Government intervention as suggested in the April 2022 BESS and equivalent activities in Scotland

 

Option found optimal in NOA 2021/22 Refresh

Code

Option description

EISD*

Earliest optimal delivery date

NOA 2021/22 Refresh recommendation

BDUP

Uprate the Beauly to Denny 275 kV circuit to 400 kV

2029

2030

Hold

DLUP

Windyhill-Lambhill-Denny North 400 kV reinforcement

2029

2029

Proceed

DNEU

Denny North 400/275 kV second supergrid transformer

2025

2026

Hold

DWNO

Denny to Wishaw 400 kV reinforcement

2028

2028

Proceed

DWUP

Kincardine - Wishaw 400 kV reinforcement

2026

2026

Proceed

LWUP

Kincardine 400 kV reinforcement

2027

2027

Proceed

TFPC

Power flow control device along Tealing to Westfield

2025

2027

Hold

*EISD is currently based on the current regulatory and consenting process and acceleration

Central Scotland and the England-Scotland border

HND Essential Options

 

Code

Option description

EISD*

RISD

Earliest optimal delivery date

CDP3

Additional alternative power control devices along Cellarhead to Drakelow

2024

 

2027

CGNC

A new 400 kV double circuit between Creyke Beck and the south Humber

2031

2030

2030

CKPC

Power control device along Creyke Beck to Keadby to Killingholme

2024

 

2025

CWPC

Power control device along Cottam to West Burton

2024

 

2027

E2DC

Eastern subsea HVDC link from Torness to Hawthorn Pit

2027

 

2027

EHRE

Elvanfoot to Harker reconductoring

2028

 

2030

GWNC

A new 400 kV double circuit between the south Humber and south Lincolnshire

2031

2030

2030

KCEU

Creyke to Keadby to Killingholme circuits thermal uprating

2022

 

2025

KCRE

Reconductor Cottam to Keadby 400 kV double circuit

2025

 

2025

KWHW

Keadby to West Burton circuits thermal uprating

2024

 

2024

KWP2

Additional power control devices along the Keadby to West Burton number 1 circuit

2025

 

2026

KWPC

Power control device along Keadby to West Burton

2024

 

2024

LNRE

Reconductor Lackenby to Norton 400 kV single circuit

2024

 

2030

NOR4

Reconductor 13.75 km of Norton to Osbaldwick number 2 400 kV circuit

2024

 

2030

NOR5

Reconductor 13.75 km of Norton to Osbaldwick number 1 400 kV circuit to a higher rated conductor

2024

 

2027

OPN2

A new 400 kV double circuit between the existing Norton to Osbaldwick circuit and Poppleton and relevant 275 kV upgrades

2027

 

2027

SHNS

Upgrade substation in the south Humber area

2031

2030

2030

TGDC

Eastern subsea HVDC Link from east Scotland to south Humber area

2031

2030

2030

VERE

Strathaven - Elvanfoot OHL conductor replacement

2030

 

2030

VSRE

Strathaven - Smeaton OHL conductor replacement

2027

 

2027

WRRE

Reconductor West Burton to Ratcliffe-on-Soar circuit

2028

 

2030

*EISD is currently based on the current regulatory and consenting process and acceleration

** Accelerating these projects would require the Government intervention as suggested in the April 2022 BESS and equivalent activities in Scotland

 

Option found optimal in NOA 2021/22 Refresh

Code

Option description

EISD*

Earliest optimal delivery date

NOA 2021/22 Refresh recommendation

BSHW

Blyth to Stella West circuits thermal uprating

2024

2031

Hold

CDHW

Cellarhead to Drakelow circuits thermal uprating

2023

2023

Proceed

CLNC

New North West England to Lancashire reinforcement

2034

2036

Hold

CMNC

South east Scotland to north west England AC onshore reinforcement

2033

2033

Proceed

CS05

Commercial solution for Scotland and the north of England - stage 1

2024

2024

Proceed

CS06

Commercial solution for Scotland and the north of England - stage 2

2024

2024

Proceed

CS11

Commercial solution for the north of England - stage 1

2024

2024

Proceed

CS12

Commercial solution for the north of England - stage 2

2025

2025

Proceed

HAE2

Harker supergrid transformer 6 replacement

2023

2023

Proceed

HAEU

Harker supergrid transformer 5 and supergrid transformer 9A banking arrangement

2022

2022

Proceed

LCU2

Eastern B5 400 kV reinforcement

2031

2037

Hold

LPD2

Additional new HVDC link between North West England and North Wales

2035

2037

Hold

LPDC

New HVDC link between North West England and North Wales

2035

2036

Hold

MRP2

Additional power control devices at both Harker and Penwortham

2022

2022

Proceed

NEMS

225 MVAr MSCs within the north east region

2025

2026

Hold

NEP1

Power control device along Blyth to Tynemouth and Blyth to South Shields

2025

2025

Proceed

NEPC

Power control device along Blyth to Tynemouth and Blyth to South Shields

2024

2024

Proceed

NOR6

Reconductor the existing double circuit which runs from Norton to Osbaldwick

2028

2037

Hold

PWMS

Two 225MVAr MSCs at Penwortham

2025

2027

Hold

SNHW

Spennymoor to Norton circuit thermal uprating

2024

2027

Hold

SNRE

Reconductor the existing double circuit which runs from Spennymoor to Norton

2027

2037

Hold

SPRE

Reconductor the existing double circuit which runs from Spennymoor to Stella West

2027

2037

Hold

SSHW

Stella West to Spennymoor circuit thermal uprating

2024

2027

Hold

TLNO

East Coast Anglo-Scottish onshore reinforcement

2037

2037

Proceed

WCNC

West Coast onshore Anglo-Scottish new circuit

2036

2036

Proceed

*EISD is currently based on the current regulatory and consenting process and acceleration

Midlands, South and East of England

HND Essential Options

Code

Option description

EISD*

RISD

Earliest optimal delivery date

AENC

A new 400 kV double circuit in north East Anglia

2030

 

2030

ATNC

A new 400 kV double circuit in south East Anglia

2030

 

2030

BMM2

225 MVAr MSCs at Burwell Main

2022

 

2022

BPRE

Reconductor the newly formed second Bramford to Braintree to Rayleigh Main circuit

2028

 

2028

BRRE

Reconductor remainder of Bramford to Braintree to Rayleigh route

2023

 

2023

BTNO

A new 400 kV double circuit between Bramford and Twinstead

2028

 

2028

CDP1

Power control device along Cellarhead to Drakelow

2024

 

2027

CDP2

Power control device along Cellarhead to Drakelow

2024

 

2027

DFRE

Reconductor Drax to Fenwick Tee 400 kV circuit

2026

 

2030

DREU

Generator circuit breaker replacement to allow Thornton to run a two-way split

2025

 

2025

EBRE

Reconductor Enderby to Patford Bridge to East Claydon 400 kV double circuit

2026

 

2030

EDEU

400 kV upgrade of Brinsworth to Chesterfield double circuit and Chesterfield to High Marnham double circuit.  New High Marnham and Chesterfield 400 kV substations

2027

 

2028

EDN2

New Chesterfield to Ratcliffe-on-Soar 400 kV double circuit

2032

2030

2030

ESC1

Second Elstree to St John’s Wood 400 kV circuit

2026

 

2029

GCHW

Cottam to Market Harborough to Grendon circuit thermal uprating

2025

 

2030

HWUP

Uprate Hackney, Tottenham and Waltham Cross 275 kV to 400 kV

2027

 

2027

IFR1

Feckenham to Ironbridge circuit reconductoring

2025

 

2030

LRN4

New network need from North Lincolnshire to Hertfordshire

2033

2030

2030

NBRE

Reconductor Bramford to Norwich double circuit

2023

 

2023

SCD1

New Offshore HVDC link between Suffolk and Kent option 1

2030

 

2030

SER1

Elstree to Sundon reconductoring

2024

 

2024

SER2

Elstree to Sundon 2 circuit turn-in and reconductoring

2026

 

2029

WSEU

Thermal upgrade for Sundon and Wymondley 400 kV substation

2024

 

2025

WYTI

Wymondley turn-in

2024

 

2028

*EISD is currently based on the current regulatory and consenting process and acceleration

** Accelerating these projects would require the Government intervention as suggested in the April 2022 BESS and equivalent activities in Scotland

 

Option found optimal in NOA 2021/22 Refresh

Code

Option description

EISD*

Earliest optimal delivery date

NOA 2021/22 Refresh recommendation

BFHW

Bramley to Fleet circuits thermal uprating

2024

2025

Hold

BFPC

Power control device along Bramley to Fleet

2025

2029

Hold

BFRE

Bramley to Fleet reconductoring

2025

2026

Hold

BWRE

Reconductor Barking to West Ham double circuit

2025

2028

Hold

CS07

Commercial solution for East Anglia - stage 1

2025

2025

Proceed

CS08

Commercial solution for East Anglia - stage 2

2025

2025

Proceed

CTRE

Reconductor remainder of Coryton South to Tilbury circuit

2022

2022

Proceed

ERPC

Power control devices along the Enderby to Ratcliffe circuits

2026

2033

Hold

FHRE

Reconductor the existing 400 kV single circuit which runs from Feckenham to Hams Hall

2027

2033

Hold

GCRE

Reconductor the existing double circuit which runs from Cottam to Grendon

2028

2037

Hold

MBHW

Bramley to Melksham circuits thermal uprating

2024

2026

Hold

MBRE

Bramley to Melksham reconductoring

2026

2027

Hold

NBEU

Thermal upgrade for Bramford and Norwich 400 kV substations

2025

2028

Hold

NTP1

Power control device north of Tilbury 400 kV

2024

2024

Proceed

PEM1

225 MVAr MSCs at Pelham

2024

2024

Proceed

PEM2

225 MVAr MSCs at Pelham

2024

2024

Proceed

RHM1

225 MVAr MSCs at Rye House

2024

2024

Proceed

RHM2

225 MVAr MSCs at Rye House

2024

2024

Proceed

RTRE

Reconductor remainder of Rayleigh to Tilbury circuit

2022

2022

Proceed

SEEU

Reactive compensation protective switching scheme

2024

2024

Proceed

TGP1

Power control device along Tilbury to Grain

2024

2024

Proceed

TKP1

Power control device along Tilbury to Kingsnorth

2024

2026

Hold

TKRE

Tilbury to Grain and Tilbury to Kingsnorth upgrade

2028

2028

Proceed

TWNC

Upgrade Wymondley, Waltham Cross and Tilbury 275 kV to 400 kV

2033

2033

Proceed

WAM1

225 MVAr MSCs at Walpole

2025

2025

Proceed

WAM2

225 MVAr MSCs at Walpole

2025

2025

Proceed

WCC1

Cable replacement at Hinksey

2027

2037

Hold

WWNC

New South Lincolnshire to East Anglia double circuit

2032

2033

Hold

*EISD is currently based on the current regulatory and consenting process and acceleration

Wales and Celtic Sea

HND Essential Options

 

Code

Option description

EISD*

RISD**

Earliest optimal delivery date

PSNC

New network need between North Wales and South Wales

2037

2030

2030

PTC1

Pentir to Trawsfynydd cable replacement

2027

 

2028

PTNO

North Wales reinforcement

2028

 

2029

*EISD is currently based on the current regulatory and consenting process and acceleration

** Accelerating these projects would require the Government intervention as suggested in the April 2022 BESS and equivalent activities in Scotland

 

Option found optimal in NOA 2021/22 Refresh

Code

Option description

EISD*

Earliest optimal delivery date

NOA 2021/22 Refresh recommendation

CS20

Commercial solution for north of Wales - stage 1

2026

2033

Hold

CS21

Commercial solution for north of Wales - stage 2

2026

2033

Hold

HBUP

Uprate Bridgewater to 400 kV and reconductor the route to Hinkley

2024

2027

Hold

*EISD is currently based on the current regulatory and consenting process and acceleration

Discover more about the NOA

The Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design

Our summary report setting out the key messages from the detailed documents.

NOA methodology

As a result of stakeholder feedback, we’ve moved the methodology and other content from the publication to our website. This has made the NOA shorter and easier to access.

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Way Forward

We will work in partnership with Ofgem and stakeholders to define the arrangements for the Centralised Strategic Network Planning process, follow up process for 2023 and further work on the NOA assessments.

Interactive map

Visit our interactive map to have a look at the requirements for the future transmission network.

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Key documents

Have a look at our previous NOA reports, NOA methodologies, NOA Committee minutes and other relevant documents.

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NOA for Interconnectors

NOA for Interconnectors (NOA IC) highlights the potential benefits of efficient levels of interconnection capacity between GB and other markets.

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Contact us if you have a question, want to share some insight or have feedback on any part of NOA.