SP Energy Networks formally invites third parties to submit innovative proposals which fulfil the criteria of the 2018 Network Innovation Competition (NIC) or the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA).

Successful proposals should:

  • Support the transmission network of the future
  • Facilitate the aspiration of SP Energy Networks to become a Distribution System Operator (DSO)


NIC proposals

For NIC proposals, the third party should as far as possible prepare an initial proposal (ISP – Initial Screening Process) by the 5 January 2018 to allow SP Energy Networks to review. Following evaluation, successful proposals shall subsequently be adapted to full submissions (FSP) and submitted to Ofgem in April 2018 to secure funding. SP Energy Networks are particularly interested in identifying potential partners who are willing to develop the full proposal together along with them.


NIA proposals

Proposals for smaller projects (<£2.5m) with a lower Technology Readiness Level (TRL) will be considered for the NIA. Once evaluated, successful proposals will be progressed internally and presented to SP Energy Networks Innovation Steering Board for approval and funding. Successful NIA projects may be progressed into future NIC proposals in the future.


It is important to note that proposals should be innovative and not repeat projects that have been awarded funding previously within the UK.



SP Energy Networks are interested in innovative proposals for projects that will improve the way in which the transmission and/or distribution networks are planned, maintained and operated.


The aim of their innovation strategy is to enable a future flexible network which delivers value and choice for their customers whilst facilitating the growth of a low carbon economy in a cost effective manner. This is reflected in their ambition to become a Distribution System Operator (DSO). They are interested in any innovation which will enable this transition.


The three core areas SP Energy Networks will prioritise when evaluating any innovative proposals are:


  • Delivering value to customers
  • Enabling customer choice
  • Sustainable networks


The closing date for the submission of proposals for NIC and NIA is 5 January 2018.


To request further information please enter your details online or call the Energy Innovation Centre on 0151 348 8040 and quote the reference number SPEN-17-01.  The closing date for requesting documentation in 22 December 2017.