The voice of the networks

How can this website be improved? Give us your feedback

Green recovery: SP Energy Networks powering COP26

24 May 2021

Britain’s electricity network operators are to invest over £300 million to boost ‘shovel-ready’ green projects across England, Scotland and Wales. This is the first of a series of blogs about the winning schemes and the impact they'll have on supporting new jobs, levelling up the economy and building back greener.


A new substation constructed by SP Energy Networks will provide a lasting COP26 legacy by creating capacity to facilitate future green developments and the connection of low carbon technologies.

The project will create the necessary headroom to ensure that local businesses, amenities and housing can play their part in decarbonising heat and transport without concerns over the capacity and security of the electricity network.

This project will see the installation and commissioning of a new substation on land close to the COP26 venue in Glasgow by the end of 2023.

The funding has been unlocked through the Green Recovery Investment programme, with UK electricity network operators working with Ofgem and the Energy Networks Association (ENA) to identify projects suitable for £300m worth of investment.

The hosting of COP26 in Scotland’s largest city in November this year requires additional network capacity to ensure security and reliability of electricity supply during the event. Phase one of the project will ensure that this additional demand can be supported by new circuits operated from an existing nearby substation.

However, a new substation will be required to ensure the new equipment from phase one and the additional capacity it creates can be utilised to its full potential in 2022 and beyond. The benefits will extend beyond the immediate reach of the proposed new substation by releasing capacity at adjacent sites.

The north side of the River Clyde in this area has witnessed significant development in recent years and this will continue in the years ahead. Within the local area there are several brownfield sites which offer opportunities for further development, particularly to the west of the area.

Glasgow City Council has been actively supporting developments that will accelerate the decarbonisation of both transport and heat as it attempts to reach its goal of a Net Zero city by 2030.

The area falls within the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID), which seeks to leverage innovation opportunities to realise growth for jobs and infrastructure in this area.

Encompassing both banks of the River Clyde, an area synonymous with the legacy of shipbuilding and Glaswegian leadership in industry, GRID offers Glasgow the chance to reimagine its proud industrial heritage for the 21st century, and to establish its position as a leader in the hi-tech industries of the future.

Additional opportunities then exist to interconnect the developments on the north side of the river with the key development areas in Tradeston, Kinning Park and Govan on the south side of the river. This compliments £25-£30m of investment currently underway in these areas to futureproof the existing network for the uptake of low carbon technologies.

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.