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Energy Networks Association launches new Electricity Innovation Forum for Britain’s energy innovators

22 February 2018

Energy Networks Association announces today that it will host the first Electricity Innovation Forum next month, a joint event between Great Britain’s electricity networks. The forum is aimed at sharing the latest knowledge and findings from the networks leading energy innovation projects.


Independent research carried out by Pöyry has shown that innovation projects by local electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) could deliver up to £1.7bn of benefits by 2031. These projects and services could deliver major savings to billpayers in the years ahead by ensuring that our networks evolve to new demands in the most cost-efficient way possible.

The projects to be discussed at this and future forums are funded via the Ofgem Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) which funds projects directly related to the licensees network that have the potential to deliver financial benefits to energy consumers while meeting UK decarbonisation targets.

The focus of this Electricity Innovation Forum is on asset management and dynamic line ratings. Attendees will hear from speakers from across the electricity networks about the exciting developments resulting from innovation projects in these areas, as well as:

  • gain insight to how network innovation strategy informs innovation funding direction.
  • better understand the benefits that network innovation provides for energy consumers.
  • find out how to become more involved in energy network innovation and where partnering opportunities might arise.
  • have the opportunity to ask questions and network with electricity network innovation teams.

The event is aimed this event at stakeholders who would like to understand the how the learning from innovation projects is being utilised and get involved in future innovation activities which they can do through the relaunched ENA Network Innovation Collaboration Portal.

David Smith, CEO of Energy Networks Association, comments:

“The Electricity Innovation Forum is an excellent way for energy innovators to find out more about energy network projects created through the Network Innovation Allowance. The projects provide benefits across the whole UK energy industry which continues to be the most innovative in the world. As the current RIIO price control continues and as we begin discussions about the format of the new RIIO2 price control, network companies will continue to play a leading role in delivering network innovation projects through the NIA, with that work being co-ordinated through the forthcoming Electricity Network Innovation Strategy.”

Notes to editor

  • The Gas and Electricity Network Innovation Strategies will be published in April this year following a period of consultation in 2017.
  • The Electricity Innovation Forum will be held on Wednesday 21st March 2018 and attendance is open to anyone.
  • Tickets are free and available on line and can be found here.
  • The innovation projects by energy network companies that will be presented at the Electricity Innovation Forum include the following:
    • Wind Farm Cable Circuits Temperature Monitoring  (SP Energy Networks)
    • Dynamic Line Field Trial  (Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks)
    • Real Time Thermal Ratings of Transformers – Trials and Deployment (UK Power Networks)
    • Improved Statistical Ratings for Distribution Overhead Lines (Western Power Distribution)
    • Advanced management of Fluid Filled Cables (UK Power Networks)
    • RainMan - Analysis of the initial results (Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks)
    • Tap Changer Monitoring (Electricity North West)
    • Integrated substation Condition Monitoring (Northern Powergrid)
    • Previous Examples of electricity innovation projects by energy network companies include:
      • Electricity North-West’s CLASS project, which has successfully demonstrated that demand for electricity can be reduced without customers noticing a difference to their supply.
    • Northern Powergrid & Northern Gas Network’s InTEGRal project, which researches how gas and electricity networks can work together to deliver breakthroughs in the decarbonisation of heat, energy storage and transport.
    • Scottish & South Energy Networks NINES project, which has created a self-sufficient smart grid in the remote Shetland Isles.
    • SP Energy Networks’ FITNESS project, which looks at new ways to lower the costs of building electricity substation costs whilst helping reduce constraint payments to generators
    • Western Power Distribution’s Electric Nation project, which develops methods to identify which parts of the network are likely to be affected by electric vehicle and vehicle to grid (V2G) uptake
    • UK Power Networks’ Smarter Network Storage project, the first grid‐scale battery storage project in the UK.
  •  The event will take place Wednesday 21st March 2018 in Birmingham’s etc.venues, Maple House, 150 Corporation Street between 09:30 and 16:00 GMT.
  • The updated Smarter Networks Portal can be found here.
  • The Network Innovation Collaboration (NIC) Portal can be found here.
  • Independent research commissioned by Poyry conducted in October 2016 for Ofgem estimated that future net benefits resulting from innovation projects carried out with funding from the Low Carbon Network Fund were between £1.1bn to £1.7bn (p.78). The report can be found online here.

About us

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the energy networks. Our members include every major electricity network operator in the UK. The electricity networks are at the heart of the energy transition. They directly employ more than 26,000 people in the UK, including 1,500 apprentices. They are spending and investing £33bn in our electricity grids over the coming years, to ensure safe, reliable and secure energy supplies for the millions of homes and businesses reliant on power every day.

Press contacts

You can contact ENA's press office by emailing For urgent or out-of-hours enquiries from journalists, please call 0204 599 7691.