Northern Powergrid


Distribution System Operation

As we move to a low carbon economy, new technology and digitisation are driving unprecedented change in the way energy is created and used. As an electricity infrastructure provider, we need to make sure that our network is able to safely and securely support these changes whilst maintaining high standards of reliability for our customers.

The general consensus in our industry (captured in the Open Networks project) is that new processes and functions are required to operate such an energy system, the whole being referred to as ‘distribution system operation’ and the main coordinator as Distribution System Operator (DSO).  At Northern Powergrid we are helping to shape the transition to ensure it delivers value for our customers.

We continue to deliver our current Business Plan(2015-23) which includes a £2.7 billion commitment to deliver improvements for our customers. 

As part of this, our £83 million smart grid investment programme is transforming our ability to monitor, control and communicate with thousands of our substations, creating a platform for deploying smart solutions in the years to come.

We're also currently planning for the next price control period,  ED2, which will run from April 2023 to March 2028, and will deliver a programme of comprehensive engagement as part of creating our Business Plan (2023-28). 

We will be actively seeking views from a range of customers and other key stakeholders across the region to help shape our ED2 business plan exploring key areas including future energy systems, network improvements and security, our role as an economic enabler supporting Net Zero targets and delivering for customers through high quality, fairly priced, inclusive services. 

News & Events

14 Feb 2020
Northern Powergrid is calling for anyone with significant assets connected to its network to get in touch and register for its upcoming auction to provide power flexibility services in exchange for commercial return
24 Oct 2019
Northern Powergrid has set out a number of questions that Ofgem and the energy industry need to address as part of its published plan to become a Distribution System Operator – DSO v1.1.
10 May 2019
Northern Powergrid invites consultation and debate on the hottest industry topics as part of its 2019 Consultative Roundtable series.

Documents and Resources

Download Documents
DSO v1.1 Development Plan
View and comment on our DSO document which sets out how we plan to create a customer-led system operator approach to managing future energy systems. (December 2019)
Delivering customer flexibility
Read our investment appraisal processes. (December 2019)
Road Map to Digitalisation
View and comment on our emerging thinking about how we plan to embed digital transformation into everything we do now and in the future.
Distribution Future Energy Scenarios
Find out how we're facilitating decarbonisation and scenarios we are using to underpin forecasting future network requirements
Response to Ofgem's DSO position paper
Read our response. (October 2019)
DSO v1.0 Emerging Thinking
Read our emerging thinking about future energy systems and transition to DSO. (December 2018)
Download Resources
Distribution Future Energy Scenarios (DFES)
Access our potential future scenarios geo-spatial visualisation tool and data files.
Open Network Project
Find out more about the Open Networks Project which is a major industry initiative that we're involved in that will transform the way our energy networks operate, underpinning the delivery of the smart grid.
Visit our portal for e-tendering and e-auctions

Get in Touch

We want our customers and other key stakeholder to be part of our journey as we seek to transition to a Distribution System Operator and deliver customer-led future energy systems.

We would welcome your views on our vision and plan so why not write to us at

We're planning to discuss some of the themes in our DSO 1.1 document as part of our engagement to develop our ED2 business plan. To find out more about any forthcoming events and register visit Customer Events and Surgeries.