A key milestone in the development of our future Business Plan

We are some 18 months into our consultation and planning for the next transmission price control, RIIO-T2, which will run from 2021-2026, and we have today published our ‘Emerging Thinking’ paper.

Our emerging thinking is based on what we have heard so far from our customers and stakeholders, along with the analysis that we have undertaken to develop proposals to meet those customer and stakeholder needs. The main elements of our thinking include:

• The importance of the north of Scotland in enabling a sustainable GB energy sector, with the potential to grow its renewables capacity from over 6GW today by a further 7.5GW over the RIIO-T2 period.

• Maintaining a safe and reliable electricity network, with an ambitious target for no interruptions for electricity consumers due to transmission system faults. 

• Ensuring that connections to the transmission network are progressed efficiently and are managed in a way that is responsive to customer needs.
As the title suggests, today’s publication presents our emerging views about the needs of the transmission system for the next decade.  Our thoughts are focused on our strategic objective: to enable the transition to a low carbon economy.  Informed by the views of our customers, stakeholders and wider society, we have now defined four strategic themes to achieving that objective that will form the structure of our business plan. 

These are:
• Stakeholder-Led strategy;

• Safe and Secure Network Operation;

• Sector Leading Efficiency; and

• Leadership in Sustainability.

There are many elements of our future Business Plan that we have a relatively high degree of certainty about, such as which of our historical assets will need replacing as they reach the end of their operational life.  However, there are many aspects of the future where there is a high degree of uncertainty, not least the speed and scale of the continued decarbonisation of electricity, heat and transport in the north of Scotland and across GB.
The north of Scotland is home to some of the greatest renewable resources across the globe, from conventional sources such as wind and hydro; to emerging, with vast potential, marine energy sources.  Our network region is therefore key to enabling a sustainable GB energy sector, already supporting over 6GW of clean renewable energy, contributing one third of GB’s renewable output. 

The speed and scale of future decarbonisation progress is for others, from national, devolved and local governments, our generation customers and ultimately energy consumers, to determine.  Our north of Scotland future energy scenarios, on which our plan will be based, sets out what the future might look like and how we can prepare at the right time and at economic cost to customers.  Based on these scenarios, we currently estimate our total annual investments over the RIIO-T2 period to range between £300m and £700m, which translates to a cost to the GB consumer between around £4 and around £6 a year, roughly 1% of a typical annual electricity bill.

To manage this uncertainty, it is therefore critical the next price control allows sufficient flexibility to allow us to meet the future needs and expectations of our customers and wider society.

At SHE Transmission we maintain a strong ambition to continue the good progress of recent years in enabling the transition to a low carbon economy, balanced against the needs to ensure affordability for energy consumers and continued network reliability.
As we continue to plan for our next price control, our customers, stakeholders and energy consumers will maintain a central role in the development of our Business Plan, to ensure we plan and deliver a network that meets the future needs and ambitions of wider society.

We would welcome feedback on our Emerging Thinking from our stakeholders to help inform the future of the north of Scotland transmission system.  We will publish our first draft business plan in early July.

To review the Emerging Thinking paper, which includes details how to respond, please visit: https://www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/media/3219/she-transmission-riio_t2-emerging-thinking-paper.pdf.





About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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