In this fast-changing business, we are constantly seeking to improve our understanding of the challenges facing the transmission network in GB, and to find ways to overcome these challenges to ensure security of supply and value for money as Britain moves to a low carbon economy. We actively share the results and methodology of our research with all transmission network operators (TOs) and stakeholders. View our Electricity Network Innovation Strategy 2022 and our SSEN Transmission Innovation Strategy here.
To find out more about our ongoing and completed Network Innovation Allowance Transmission projects please click on the project title to see more information. Alternatively you can view our NIA Annual Summary report.
The National HVDC Centre (previously the MTTE Project)
Offshore wind will play a leading role in the transition to net zero, with as much as 100GW required to deliver 2050 net zero targets. This will require the development of HVDC grids to connect and transport offshore wind from source, increasingly further offshore, to areas of demand.
To support the development of HVDC grids there is a need to demonstrate the capability of DC Circuit Breakers (DCCBs). Circuit breakers, which already exist on the onshore AC network, minimise the impact of faults, allowing power to keep flowing elsewhere on the network.
The Network DC project aims to advance the readiness of the technology for implementation on the GB system, to enable the development of offshore DC networks which cannot exist without DCCBs.
The impact of weather on all aspects of energy provision is well known, but weather data is currently generic and does not provide enough detail to assess the impact of weather on specific assets.
Network Innovation and Meteorology to Build for Sustainability – known as Project NIMBUS – will provide the capability to use high resolution weather and climate data to help accurately predict the impact of climate change on transmission assets over their life-time.
In turn, this will lead to improved intervention planning and asset protection, which could extend asset lives by 10 to 20 years.
With the increasing capacity of offshore wind, innovation is required to facilitate the rapid roll-out of this intermittent generation to support grid balancing and address stability challenges. Without this, the GB grid will become weaker which will lead to issues in system operation including, increasing the likelihood of blackouts and maintaining reliance on fossil fuel generators.
Project Incentive will investigate new solutions to address this through demonstrating the use of innovative voltage, current and frequency control technologies coupled with energy storage at the point of onshore connection of offshore wind farms, to allow offshore wind farms to stabilise the onshore grid.
The first project, known as Asset Reuse & Recovery Collaboration (ARRC), is supported by all UK Transmission Operators, with the aim being to develop and assess novel solutions to an industry wide problem of sustainably managing high value assets.
The second explores the use of Green Hydrogen Technology in the national gas grid, with SSEN Transmission supporting by examining the considerations of the electricity grid interface associated with Green hydrogen production.