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Green Recovery Investment

Green Recovery Investment in the electricity network to support the transition to Net Zero (2021-2023).

SP Energy Networks, together with the rest of Britain’s energy networks, is working with Ofgem to unlock around £300m to support a green economic recovery from Covid-19.

Through the Energy Networks Association (ENA), SP Energy Networks is launching a 6-week call for evidence for sites in each of our two distribution network areas (Central and Southern Scotland and Cheshire, Merseyside and North & Mid Wales) where there is expected to be significant green activity such as renewable energy generation or a high uptake of low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles or heat pumps in the near future. This evidence will be used to identify areas for quick deployment of network investment in the next two years. The call for evidence is open to all stakeholders (public and private) and technologies that are ready to be delivered and support the net zero transition. 

The UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments have ambitious plans to put the nation and local communities at the forefront of delivering a Net Zero carbon economy.  Delivering Net Zero will mean substituting many of the fossil fuels we use today for clean renewable energy sources, generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar. We are already seeing the transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to those powered by batteries with electricity coming from the grid. Increasingly we are going to see the use of electrically powered heat pumps as one of the key technologies which can replace traditional fossil fuel heating systems, alongside other potential solutions such as green gas.

A key aspect of achieving Net Zero is through the decarbonisation of Heating and Transport. Whilst DNOs are not directly involved in the up-take of these Low Carbon Technologies (LCTs), adequate electricity network capacity and resilience is essential to the use of all LCTs. 

The aim of this exercise is to rapidly deliver electricity distribution infrastructure and solutions in places where that will lead to rapid, material development. 

Craig Arthur, SP Distribution Director for Central & Southern Scotland at SP Energy Networks, said: "We’re proud to be leading the way when it comes to green economic recovery. We’re working on a number of exciting projects across the country to futureproof our network and help progress towards the country’s ambitious net zero targets. For example, in Dunfermline there are lots of new housing developments which require network reinforcement.

"For example, in Dunfermline there are lots of new housing developments which require network reinforcement.

"In that area we’ve had to prepare for the uptake of low carbon technologies by analysing where investment will be most needed in our network and work with Fife Council to align with their plans. Projects like that create jobs for local people as we make these upgrades to the system.

"We’re already planning for additional capacity to support electric bus charging in key locations like Glasgow or Edinburgh. And in Alloa we are working with the local council to help ensure the town is ready for their electric vehicle roll out. Our priority is working with local communities to ensure the network is capable of supporting their local ambitions."

Liam O’Sullivan, SP Manweb Director at SP Energy Networks, said: "It’s essential that we progress green energy projects now to support our economic recovery and the clean energy solutions of tomorrow.

"A great example is our work in Formby to upgrade properties with a looped electrical service connection. When the technology was installed it was normal to use the same service cable for multiple properties but now everyone is moving towards low carbon technologies, we’ve had to complete upgrade works to enable future connections to be added.

"We’re also working with Transport for Wales to introduce electric vehicle chargers in carparks at train stations and bus depots. These are just two example of the many projects we’re supporting as we push forward towards Net Zero emissions targets."

Green Recovery Activity Types

The types of activity we are looking to invest in as part of Green Recovery include:

Activity Type


Anticipatory investment in primary substations / HV sites

Anticipatory investment to reinforce areas of the network to stimulate investment

Network investment to facilitate EV charging infrastructure at Motorway Service Areas

Analysis and reinforcement of electricity network on major transport routes to facilitate the development of rapid EV charging hubs at Motorway Service Areas

Site selection for public EV charging hubs

Opportunity to extend the learnings from Project PACE to other local authorities in SPD & SPM, using electricity network insight to determine the optimum locations for public EV charging hubs

Accelerate ED2 volume activities

Accelerate investment from ED2 by investing in addressing looped services and installing local LV network monitoring to ensure our customers homes and local networks are suitable for the transition to low carbon technologies

Community Energy Projects

Support community energy projects, investing at a local level for customers and communities

Some example projects we are considering are shown in the interactive maps below (please click on each area to find out more):

If you have a shovel ready project that could benefit from SP Energy Networks Green Recovery investment, we want to hear from you.

Green Recovery Priorities

This Call for Evidence is open to all public and private stakeholders in the relevant DNO region and has been designed to understand and validate the state of readiness of proposals and plans that developers, Local Authorities and other stakeholders are considering around the areas we have identified. This will enable us to create a priority order of network investment (reinforcement) and implement this over the next two to three years. It will also inform longer term network development in RIIO-ED2[1] and beyond.

Priority is to be given to locations on the basis of likely:

  • Utilisation (e.g. how much of the capacity might be used in the near term – evidence of user demand or need).
  • Deliverability (how quickly infrastructure and solutions could be completed).
  • Value for money. This would consider:
    • Firstly, the cost of the particular scheme relative to the prospective utilisation, including the potential capability of the scheme to provide flexibility or other DSO services; and
    • Secondly, any wider benefits the scheme may have (e.g. supporting the delivery of government policy, wider regional investment it may unlock and job creation)
[1] RIIO-ED2 Sector Specific Methodology Decision | Ofgem

Contact us

All of our activities are driven by our stakeholders, we really want to hear your feedback. Do you support the accelerated investments we have proposed to help deliver a Green Recovery in the UK? What do you think of the projects we have suggested so far? What areas would you like us to focus on? Please email your feedback to us at before 19th March.

Alternatively, if you have a project you would like to be considered as part of the Green Recovery investment scheme, please complete the questionnaire below.

Green Recovery CfE Stakeholder Questionnaire

If you have a project you would like to be considered as part of the Green Recovery investment scheme, please complete the questionnaire below.

Click the link below to access the questionnaire

Please note that each question response has a maximum word count of 400 words. Responses are welcome from all types of stakeholders.


This Call for Evidence is being issued on Monday 8th February 2021 and will run for a period of 6 weeks until Friday 19th March 2021 (close of business). After a period of review and short-listing by the DNOs, Ofgem and Government, the final list of sites will be announced in mid-May 2021, with work commencing thereafter.

  • 8th Feb - Call for Evidence launched
  • 8th Feb – 19th Mar – Call for Evidence period (including Stakeholder Engagement sessions)
  • 22nd Mar –12th May – DNO shortlisting and Ofgem / OZEF review
  • 13th May – successful initiatives announced

Stakeholder Engagement Events

During the Call for Evidence period, SP Energy Networks will be hosting a series of virtual stakeholder engagement events that interested parties can join to find out more information on the Green Recovery scheme and ask questions relating to the Call for Evidence. In parallel, we will be working closely with local authorities to determine where best to focus investment in the context of local energy and transport plans.

Details of our upcoming stakeholder engagement events can be found at the link below:


The Green Recovery funding will be made available to distribution networks by Ofgem. Any funding made available will be limited to the cost of the distribution network solutions and not as a contribution towards the cost of the technologies being installed, or the cost of any final service connection required to the local network. The normal competition in connections process will be available to 3rd parties for the final service connection. Please note that this funding is separate to recent Government funding announcements in the 10-point plan, however we do expect that this scheme will be complimentary to and support those Government funding arrangements going forward.

Frequently Asked Questions

The below list of FAQs has been compiled by ENA. Please do not hesitate to contact us here  if you have any further questions.

Q: My project will not be ready for the proposed ENA Green Recovery scheme timeline; how do I avoid missing out?

A: The aim of this project is to support the Green Recovery by targeting investment in networks where there is expected to be significant green activity in the next year or two. Projects which are not able to meet the timeline in this CfE will not miss out, with the opportunity to submit their evidence to DNOs for inclusion in the RIIO-ED2 business plans, which will be submitted to Ofgem and cover investment in the networks over the period 2023-2028.  

Q: What are the most important criteria in your assessment of what will be funded? How are they weighted?

A: The process for selecting sites is discussed in Section 3 of this document. This Call for Evidence is part of the overall network planning for DNOs and will allow further evidence to be collected from stakeholders to further justify investment in that area of the network.  

Q: What type of projects will succeed in this scheme?

A:  The process for selecting sites is discussed in Section 3 of this document. We are looking for shovel-ready projects that will support the Green Recovery and address key Government policies such as net zero and the decarbonisation of transportation.  

Q: Will an existing in-progress project be able to apply for a retrospective refund of infrastructure works?

A: No – this funding is aimed at new projects that are struggling to be justified due to network infrastructure costs, rather than those that can or have already been paid for.  

Q: If I have recently accepted a connection offer but no works have yet started, can those be suspended whilst the project is considered under this funding arrangement?

A: No – this funding is aimed at new projects that are struggling to be justified due to network infrastructure costs, rather than those that can or have already been paid for.  

Q: There are a number of options for connection point(s) of our project – is the help available to assess these to decide which to put forward for funding?

A: All DNOs are available for a bilateral discussion on potential projects, to help with decision making as to the best point of connection to the network.  Please approach the relevant DNO accordingly.  

Q: What exactly will the funding cover? Will it cover my equipment costs?

A: The funding that Ofgem will make available to networks will be used to invest in the networks. This reinforcement will be targeted in areas with significant green activity and can be thought of as strengthening the networks and/or bringing the network closer to 3rd party (green) projects, which in turn will reduce the cost of connection for those projects. The funding will not cover the costs of the 3rd party project/equipment, nor the sole-use connection assets.

Q: It is unlikely that I will be able to obtain all of the Land Rights and/or Planning Permission for my site within the 6-week CfE period – will I be penalised and miss out?

A: Not necessarily – it is not compulsory to have Land Rights and/or Planning Permission fully agreed by the time this CfE closes. However, the more information and evidence that you can provide to us the better. If this information exists, it will further evidence the fact that your scheme is shovel-ready or can be quickly deployed, which is one of the key aims of this Green Recovery scheme.

Q: When does my scheme have to be completed? Is it required to be finished by the end of RIIO-ED1?

A: No – there is no end-date requirement for stakeholder schemes, however we are looking for committed stakeholders who have shovel-ready schemes that can be quickly deployed to support the Green Recovery. The intention is that the majority of the network investment is completely by the end of ED1 though.


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