National Grid poised to run UK-wide system

1 October 2002 – National Grid Group plc is expected to take-over the running of the electricity transmission grid for Scotland in addition to the England and Wales network which it already operates, when the British Electricity Transmission and Trading Arrangements (Betta) are introduced in 2003.

The UK Department of Trade and Industry is considering National Grid’s application in isolation after Scottish Power plc and Scottish & Southern Energy plc declined to pursue their initial interest in the role. US oil-services company Schlumberger had looked into becoming Great Britain system operator (GBSO) but never registered its interest during an earlier phase of the selection process.

The extension of the new trading system to replace Neta is expected to bring lower power prices for both business and domestic customers. Betta is not expected to have a dramatic effect however, as electricity prices in Scotland are already restricted to no more than one per cent higher than those in England and Wales.

In a statement the UK government said that officials from the DTI, Ofgem and industry representatives will review national Grid’s application before deciding to approve it for the UK-wide role.

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