Key activities

There is widespread recognition that the GB network needs to become more flexible. Delivery of the best whole system outcome for consumers will depend upon DNOs taking an increasing role in delivering an efficient, coordinated and economical system. This will require active use of new technologies, solutions and providers, with significantly increased engagement between the DNOs, SO and TOs. This transition toward the new Distribution System Operator (DSO) model promises significant benefits for consumers but presents all licensees with new challenges and risks.

The industry-wide ENA TSO-DSO Project has been established to provide a more detailed view on the transition to a flexible energy system. The outputs from Workstream 3 (WS3) of this project (DNO to DSO transition), include a DSO road map, functional requirements and market model options. The objective of TRANSITION is to design, develop, demonstrate and assess the tools, data and system architecture required to implement the proposed models arising from the TSO-DSO Project, with a focus on the outputs from WS3 to help inform and de-risk the industry’s transition to DSO. SSEN and ENW are continuing discussions with other licensees on further collaboration opportunities to maximise value from this project.

Expected outcomes

There are already moves toward a more flexible system, with the implementation of pioneering initiatives such as Active Network Management (ANM) and Constraint Managed Zones (CMZ). These have only been possible due to the learning outcomes from previous innovation projects, which have helped prepare DNOs and the wider industry for the transition to a DSO.

Work Stream 3: DNO to DSO Transition will build on this early work and produce a transition road map, functional requirements and potential DSO market models. Based on the road map, the TRANSITION project will look to develop functional tools prior to demonstration across a range of network scenarios. This will ensure that the proposed models are validated to establish their technical, commercial and market suitability.


NIA £14.5 million

Start/end date

2018 – 2021


Project Manager

Brian Wann