Skip to main content

5. Ofgem engagement


We will step up our engagement with Ofgem to set out Wales’ investment needs, with a focus on retaining value within Wales. We will set up a joint-working group to look at options for supporting new, flexible grid connections for renewables and energy storage solutions

Key highlights / milestones

Key highlights since the deep dive include:

  • Regular ministerial and official engagement with Ofgem considering strategic investment in grid networks in Wales and discussing Ofgem’s draft determinations on DNOs’ business plans;
  • Working with Energy System Catapult (ESC), our independent lead on the Future Grid Project, to agree modelling assumptions to create scenarios that will help identify the infrastructure investment necessary in most probable futures, to strengthen the case for investment. 

Next steps towards completion

This recommendation will remain an ongoing priority for the Welsh Government. Our priorities over the next 6 months include:

  • Working with ESC on Phase 2 of our Future Grid Project, leading to a set of network insights and a final action plan by Spring 2023;
  • Establishing the routes for Welsh views to inform the development of routes to connect the proposed north-south transmission connection in Wales.

6. Wales Energy Systems Architect


Building on the Future Energy Grid Project, we will press Ofgem to create a Wales Energy System Architect to oversee:

  1. Demand side flexibility, domestic, non-domestic and dedicated, including energy storage
  2. The mapping of fuel (& transport) poor households against Distribution Network Operators (DNO) current & predicted constraint management zones (where demand side response/flexibility has greatest system value) with a view to socialised deployment of low carbon flexibility technologies to these homes and households 
  3. Smart solutions for transmission and distribution including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to maximise the use of the existing network. Including development of requirements, funding and opening up to the market for innovation. Engagement and inputs required from across industry.
  4. Supporting business cases for whole system planning and bring together of plans across South, Mid and North Wales
  5. Competition for network build to decrease costs and accelerate build times
  6. Development of a detailed whole system plan covering transmission and distribution
  7. Celtic Sea offshore network design and onshore reinforcements.

Key highlights / milestones    

We have created a ‘grid working group’ of deep dive members to develop recommendation taking due account of developments since the deep dive reported. This working group will also consider how we implement recommendation 21. 

The announcement from the UK Government to create a Future System Operator together with the publication of the Holistic Network Design proposal have been important developments to implement this recommendation.  
Key highlight since the deep dive:

  • Working with the ‘grid working group,’ we are assessing the need for a ‘System Architect’ and what its aims and objectives should be if it is to have meaningful value for Wales as an advocate or champion. 

Next steps towards completion

This recommendation will remain an ongoing priority for the Welsh Government.  Our priority steps over the next 6 months include:

  • Working with the Energy System Catapult on Phase 2 of our Future Grid Project, the insights from which will help inform the need of/for a System Architect;
  • Working with deep dive working group and a wide range of stakeholders to further shape the aims of the Systems Architect taking account of the announcement of a Future Systems Operator by the UK government and further information on the implementation of the Holistic Network Design through the Detailed Network Design;
  • Considering synergies between this recommendation and the role of the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales’s work on energy.