SHE Transmission sets out future of electricity transmission system in the north of Scotland
SHE Transmission, the owner of the electricity transmission network for the north of Scotland and part of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), has today published its initial views on the future of the north of Scotland transmission system.
In its RIIO-T2 Emerging Thinking paper, which has been informed by extensive stakeholder engagement over the past 18 months, SHE Transmission sets out its understanding of what electricity customers, local communities and wider stakeholders require from its electricity transmission network in the first half of the next decade.
As a regulated business, SHE Transmission operates under a defined framework in which its investments, its performance targets and allowed revenue are subject to what is known as a ‘Price Control’ set by the energy regulator, Ofgem. The next price control for transmission, RIIO-T2, will begin in April 2021 and will run for a period of five years.
Taking into account the key national energy policy focus areas of decarbonisation, decentralisation, democratisation and digitisation, SHE Transmission’s Emerging Thinking paper sets out four strategic themes that will form the basis of its first draft RIIO-T2 Business Plan to be published for consultation in July 2019.
The themes have been based on the work already undertaken by SHE Transmission, in collaboration with stakeholders, to model Future Energy Scenarios for the north of Scotland.
SHE Transmission has heard a wide range of views and priorities from its engagement that are covered in its Emerging Thinking including:
- The importance of the north of Scotland in enabling a sustainable GB energy sector, with the network region already supporting over 6GW of clean renewable energy, one third of the total installed capacity across GB, with the potential for this to grow by a further 7.5GW over the RIIO-T2 period. As the focus on decarbonisation continues, the paper outlines SHE Transmission’s commitment to help enable a whole system approach including energy efficiency, heat and transport.
- Maintaining a safe and reliable electricity network upon which its generation customers and energy consumers depend - with an ambitious target for zero demand faults. SHE Transmission also recognises the increasing risk of physical and cyber threats to network security and has set out the investment case to safely combat these risks.
- Ensuring that connections to the transmission network – which could value up to £500million per year – are progressed efficiently and are managed in a way that is responsive to customer needs. SHE Transmission proposes to use collaborative trials and innovation to help enable new technologies, such as decentralised grids and large-scale storage, and implement regular design reviews with connecting customers.
As it continues to develop a plan for responsible investment in critical national infrastructure, SHE Transmission is focused on its responsibility to maintain an affordable network for energy consumers across GB and ensure its transmission costs, which currently account for less than 1% of a typical annual household electricity bill, remain efficient.
Based on its established Future Energy Scenarios for the north of Scotland, which model options for Cost limitation, Local optimisation and Proactive decarbonisation, SHE Transmission has estimated an annual investment range of between £250m and £650m in new and upgraded network infrastructure in the five-year period. This cost will be dependent on external factors, in particular future energy policy and the extent of further generation growth.
Commenting on the publication, Managing Director, Transmission, Rob McDonald, said:
"The north of Scotland has been at the forefront of the UK’s energy achievements and SHE Transmission has been a key enabler of this success, delivering a step change in the scale of the network, which now transmits over a third of the nation’s renewable energy.
"As we move to a new price control, it is vital that we continue to deliver a transmission system that supports further progress towards decarbonisation goals, drives local economic development and maintains a reliable and safe network, all at an affordable cost for consumers.
"Today’s publication is an important step in the process of developing our business plan, setting out our initial views of key priorities and themes that have been shaped by the extensive customer and stakeholder engagement and research we have conducted to date.
"I would encourage all stakeholders with an interest in the future of the energy system to get in touch with our team to share your thoughts, which will help further inform the development of our first draft business plan in July."
SHE Transmission recognises the importance of ensuring a wide range of stakeholder views are taken into account in the development of its RIIO-T2 Business Plan. Reponses to the emerging thinking paper are welcomed by 31 March by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.