We recently launched a major public consultation to help plan the future of electricity transmission in Scotland.
We want to know what our customers’ views are as we develop our five year investment plan which aims to ensure the security of electricity supply and meet government objectives to move to a low carbon economy.
We are responsible for the transmission of electricity generated by power stations, windfarms and other renewable sources throughout central and southern Scotland. We own and maintain a transmission network of more than 4000 km of overhead and 320 kilometers of underground lines serving two million homes and businesses.
The consultation, which runs until September 28th, outlines the challenges the electricity network is facing including increasing consumer demand for electric vehicles and heat pumps as well as the increase in the number of new renewable energy generators looking to supply the transmission system with electricity. It also outlines a number of scenarios of how best to invest to meet these challenges.
Our plans for future investment in the network will ultimately be submitted to the energy regulator Ofgem for final approval.
Ofgem sets network companies’ price controls, affecting how much can be invested, using a framework called RIIO (Revenues=Incentives+Innovation=Outputs). The current framework ends in 2021 and SPEN’s consultation is looking forward to RIIO T2, which will set the next price controls until 2026.
Scott Mathieson, Director of Network Planning and Regulation, said: “Understanding how electricity demand and supply could evolve on our transmission network is a key factor in informing the need for reinforcement works and ultimately SP Energy Networks’ business plan.
"We have laid out a number of scenarios in our consultation document which demonstrate the uncertainty which exists around expected levels of demand and supply, especially in the long term. These have been developed in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders including national and local government as well as customers.
"But we need ongoing feedback from our stakeholders – both producers and consumers of electricity – to make sure our plans meet the needs of our customers.
"We are seeking views on what stakeholders believe are the issues we should be planning for, how we can factor in the uncertainty, and how we can move towards a more flexible use of our electricity network, where peak demand can be moved around to minimise its impact on the network.
"We would encourage anyone who is interested in how we future-proof the transmission network to respond to our consultation."
The consultation can be found here and responses are welcome by September 28, 2018, emailed to RIIO-T2@spenergynetworks.co.uk
Over the next 12 months we will also hold events to consult on our plan. For further information on these contact RIIO_T2@spenergynetworks.co.uk