September 1, 2020 @ 10:16 by Richard Dawson
Northern Powergrid has become the first distribution network operator (DNO) in the UK to release its thinking on how it can play a key role in the green economic recovery.
The network operator currently delivers power to 8 million people in communities across the North East, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
It has chosen to publicly share its business plan early to aid the development process and take in the views of as many stakeholders as possible.
As part of preparations to submit its plan, in line with Ofgem’s ED2 price control regulatory period from 2023-2028, Northern Powergrid has already consulted with thousands of stakeholders on topics such as environmental protection, customer service, decarbonisation and network resilience.
The findings from these initial 3500 conversations are reflected in the DNO’s ‘Emerging Thinking – Building our plan for 2023-2028’, which was released last week (August 25).
The document outlines a clear direction of travel for the business while introducing core themes to shore up a robust and open business plan that will guide the region towards net zero and formalise the network operator’s commitment to rapid decarbonisation across the network.
Phil Jones, president and CEO of Northern Powergrid, said: “Enabling the communities that we are proud to serve to be key players in the push to net zero is a huge opportunity; we intend to make sure it happens.
“The conversation that we want to have about our Emerging Thinking is a significant step in building the plan that will make it possible.”
Patrick Erwin, Northern Powergrid’s policy and markets director, underlined the importance of the planning process.
He said: “Electricity network operators like us have an enormous role to play in the transition to clean energy and supporting the green recovery as we Build Back Better from COVID-19.
“We already invest £1 million in our regions’ economies every day by managing and improving our network which is fundamental to powering peoples’ lives.
“The work we do in our community to enable net zero will positively impact the future job prospects of communities and help create the workforces of tomorrow.
“We think that the transition to a low carbon economy should be as equitable as possible, so that everybody in society benefits.
“Speaking with as many customers and stakeholders as possible is a priority so we can really understand and respond to the differing needs across the diverse communities we serve.
“It is only by doing this that we can help maximise the opportunities for our local and national economy.”