In 2017 three projects were submitted for the Network Innovation Competition that supported the transition from Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to Distribution System Operator (DSO).

These were:

  • TRANSITION, submitted by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and Electricity North West;
  • Electricity Flexibility and Forecasting Systems (EFFS), submitted by Western Power Distribution; and
  • FUSION, submitted by SP Energy Networks.

In the Project Directions issued by Ofgem for TRANSITION, EFFS and FUSION (T.E.F.), several conditions were included including the need to reduce the risk of unnecessary duplication and ensure the projects deliver complementary learning. All the project participants welcome the opportunity to collaborate and ensure that collectively, the three projects deliver best learning outcomes and value for money.

Each of the partners recognise that this document represents the first step in what will be an ongoing process to identify further areas of shared learning and opportunities to deliver a better outcome for customers as the projects progress. This process will be enabled by the new governance structure which includes regular intra-project meetings, as well as the substantive Stage Gate at the end of the development phase. Evidence which will be provided at Stage Gate, will enable Ofgem to make an informed decision on proposals to commence of the implementation phase of the projects.

Collaboration Themes

Open Network engagement
Avoid duplication in communications and stakeholder activities including consultations.

ESO engagement
Combined engagement is expected to save 30 days of NETSO time compared to original plans.

Stakeholder engagement
Common language, graphics and joint events to reduce cost and avoid confusion or fatigue.

Reduced number of physical trials, shared learning outcomes.

Software and Tools
Increased potential to share software, increased collaboration in development of algorithms and requirements.

Common Stage Gate
Major common Stage Gate prior to major development or demonstration spend. Defined Stage Gate evidence to enable decisions to stop, modify, or proceed with projects based on Phase 1 outputs.