National Grid is in talks about a voluntary deal aimed at staving off a forcible break-up. John Pettigrew, the chief executive, said that the company was in advanced discussions with Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about a deal that will see formal separation of its role operating the flow of power that ensures the lights stay on from the rest of the company. National Grid owns and operates the country’s high-voltage electricity network. “As our role as System Operator has developed it’s important we make sure the right measures are in place,” Mr Pettigrew said. “We have been in discussion with Ofgem and BEIS . . . I think we may have something soon.” It is understood that an agreement has already been approved but is awaiting final sign-off from Downing Street. An announcement could be made within weeks, according to people familiar with the discussions. The Times revealed in March that Whitehall was studying plans to create a new independent system operator. Since then the government has been reviewing National Grid’s role. In June MPs called for it to be stripped of managing the country’s power system because of “intractable and growing” conflicts of interest. Critics say the company has unfair influence because it operates the system and controls the network.
Times 14th Nov 2016 read more »