05 Jun 2024

North West Utility

Network Development Plan: Charting the course for a sustainable future

Electricity North West is committed to delivering a reliable and sustainable electricity network for the North West region. Our Network Development Plan (NDP) serves as a roadmap for the development of the network in alignment with future electricity needs. This blog post delves into the NDP, exploring its key features and the valuable insights it offers for our customers and stakeholders. 


What is the Network Development Plan? 

The way we use electricity is changing rapidly. To ensure a reliable and sustainable distribution system, our NDP serves as a blueprint, detailing how we will strengthen our network over the next 10 years to meet future electricity demand and distributed generation. This includes how we are adapting our network to accommodate the transition to Net Zero. 

How the NDP benefits customers and stakeholders: 

The NDP offers a multitude of benefits for our customers and stakeholders: 

  • Enabling progress towards Net Zero: The plan provides valuable data and insights to support local authorities in developing their Local Area Energy Plans, inspiring greater confidence in investment decisions and accelerating the transition to Net Zero. 
  • Informed decision-making: Customers and stakeholders gain insights into future electricity network capacity trends, allowing them to make informed decisions about their energy usage, potential revenue opportunities and low-carbon technology adoption. 
  • Efficient network planning: By leveraging data and stakeholder input, we can plan network upgrades such that we are making the right choice for our customers, at the right time to accommodate the evolving needs of a low-carbon future. 

The NDP offers valuable insights into

  • Network capacity headroom: The NDP highlights where on the network there is available capacity today. 
  • Potential for flexibility services: The NDP identifies areas where flexibility services are required. 
  • Network investment plans: The NDP outlines a 10-year investment plan to create additional capacity on the network. 

How Distribution System Operation (DSO) will influence the NDP: 

  • Innovative DSO practices: As we transition to technology-enabled DSO, our advanced Network Management System and focus on value-driven innovation empower us to design a future-proof NDP. This translates to an agile and adaptable network equipped with cutting-edge solutions for long-term sustainability. 
  • Building trust through local engagement: Open communication and a commitment to understanding our customers and stakeholders’ needs are foundational to our DSO approach. This ensures the NDP reflects our community's and fosters trust through transparent decision-making. 
  • Optimising data accessibility and transparency: We believe in transparency. Our website, data portal, and user-friendly tools provide access to both actual and processed data, empowering stakeholders with the information they need to understand our analysis, fostering confidence in the NDP through data integrity. Our engagement has underscored the paramount importance of data quality to our stakeholders, who prioritise it over simply amassing vast quantities of datasets.  

The NDP is the result of extensive collaboration with our stakeholders, integrating feedback gathered during bilateral and group consultations. This inclusive approach guarantees that the plan is finely attuned to the requirements of the region. It also allows us to comply with our regulatory license requirements for security of supply and economic network development. 

The Network Development Plan provides a detailed overview of Electricity North West's efforts in shaping the grid of the future. We invite you to explore the NDP to understand its impact on your area and discover the exciting opportunities for a sustainable energy future.