Decision on electricity network reinforcement to support Low Carbon Technology published

At the beginning of the current NIE Networks’ price control (RP6) we introduced a mechanism to deal with cost uncertainties related to the uptake of Low Carbon Technologies (LCT).

As the usage of LCT increases so does the need to reinforce the electricity distribution network to cope with the additional load.

At present, the most prevalent LCTs are:electric vehicles, solar generation and heat pumps

Battery Electric Vehicles charging requires additional investment due to the high charging currents required. Therefore, we expect an increase in future transformer replacements as the installation of fast chargers ramps up.

We have undertaken a mid-term review of NIE Networks price control expenditure.  Following that review, we determined an allowance for LCT technologies to provide a variable sum depending on uptake volumes.

An allowance of £438/charger was determined which could result in total funding of £8.76m based on our estimated uptake of 20,000 new battery electric vehicles in the latter half of the price control, which runs until 2024.

A lump sum allowance of £0.83m was also determined to cover reinforcement caused by the other technologies.  

Our decision will allow NIE Networks to keep pace with network reinforcement requirements to the end of RP6.