Project ‘SANND’ (Scenario Analysis for Non-Domestic Network Analysis)

Energy Systems Catapult has partnered with EA Technology and Northern Powergrid to deliver the Discovery Phase of Scenario Analysis for Non-domestic Network Decarbonisation (SANND).

The project is funded by energy network users and consumers through SIF, a programme from the UK’s independent energy regulator Ofgem managed in partnership with Innovate UK.

The Challenge

Decarbonisation of large or complex non-domestic sites is essential to achieve Net Zero, with Industrial and Commercial (I&C) consumption comparable to that of domestic energy (DUKES Chapter 5). This means that we need to understand the I&C transition as much as domestic electric vehicle (EV) and heat pump uptake.

However, current data limitations for non-domestic buildings make it difficult to proactively build an accurate picture of what electricity network reinforcements will be required to accommodate additional network loads from electrification projects. Larger high voltage (HV) connected sites also have the potential to provide anchor loads for heat networks. Therefore, visualisation of future network demand for these sites is vital for infrastructure planning.

Our Approach

SANND will investigate the feasibility of developing a platform to forecast I&C decarbonisation scenarios for electricity distribution network demand. The project aims to combine central forecast data, updated site and process archetyping and locally nuanced sources, enabling accurate pre-emptive forecasting of network asset requirements. The outputs could then be used to inform network planning decisions, Distribution Future Energy Scenarios (DFES), Local Area Energy Plans (LAEPs) as well as the work being undertaken by the Regional Energy Strategic Planner (RESP).

The discovery phase of the project involves a deep dive into current scenario – based modelling and how future additional capacity for HV-connected electrification projects is forecasted and planned for. It will investigate how the current business as usual forecasts could be improved, utilising improved site archetypes informed by specific modelling of I&C energy use and local authority decarbonisation routes (informed by Energy Systems Catapult’s existing models and expertise). It will also explore how additional data sources could be captured to inform nuanced, site-specific decarbonisation scenarios.


Improving the nuance and granularity of bottom-up modelling for future electrification projects for I&C sites will help improve predictions of the speed and scope of changing demand in specific localities. This will enable efficient network investment while ensuring the network is prepared for additional demand, and could feed into wider regional planning e.g., for local authority LEAPs and heat networks design.

The decarbonisation of just a few I&C sites can have a significant impact upon network capacity head room, so a more nuanced (site by site) view of the “how” and “when” of individual I&C site transition can significantly improve network forecasting and design decisions, unlocking the site decarbonisation and improving network readiness.

Next Steps

Energy Systems Catapult and its partners will deliver this project between March and May 2024 with the outputs summarised in a final report and public ‘Show and Tell’ presentation.

Should the discovery phase be successful and evidence clear potential benefits from the proposal, it is expected that the project will be taken forward to an alpha phase which will allow a proof-of-concept of the proposal to be developed.

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