The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has launched a public consultation on the Open Networks Project’s 2019 phase 3 work plan.

The phase 3 work plan consultation launched on Monday (21 January) and provides an opportunity for all industry stakeholders to consider the full project plans for 2019 and provide feedback on priorities, scope and timelines.

The project launched two years ago and is an initiative which brings together around 50 industry experts to lay the foundations of a smart grid in Great Britain and inform future developments in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

David Smith, chief executive officer, ENA, said: “The Open Networks Project is playing a key role in ensuring the wider digital transformation of the energy system, described as the internet of energy, benefits the British public, businesses and the UK.

“It is set to be the biggest year yet for the Open Networks Project as it continues to lead the industry forward and builds on its focus on the whole electricity system by looking across the energy system at gas, heat, transport and waste.

“We can expect a major boost to flexibility services markets in 2019, with the continued growth of smart energy technologies coupled with data to provide flexibility services to the grid, such as energy storage or demand-side response.”

According to the ENA the project continues to “play a vital role in enabling the growth of flexibility services markets at a local, regional and national level, coordinating energy network systems development, delivering best practice guidance and developing the evidence base for decisions about the future”.

In 2019, the project will expand upon its focus on the future of the whole electricity system by looking across the energy system at gas, heat, transport and waste.

In the short-term, the project will continue to enable a staggered rollout of new standards, procedures and processes.

ENA says the project will “continue to provide valuable input to wider industry developments”.

These include industry regulator Ofgem’s significant code review of network charging and access and the government’s recently established Energy Data Taskforce.

Following the launch of the flexibility commitment late last year, with local grid operators including smart flexibility services as part of their day-to-day operations, ENA expects a “major boost” to flexibility services markets in 2019.

ENA will host an in-depth discussion with leading policymakers on 1 February to discuss the progress of the Open Networks Project and look to the year ahead.

All responses to the 2019 phase 3 work plan consultation must be submitted electronically to by 22 February.

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