National Grid plc

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This article is about the energy company. For the electric power transmission network, see National Grid (Great Britain).
National Grid plc
Public limited company
Traded as
Industry Utilities
Founded 1990; 27 years ago (1990)
Headquarters Warwick, United Kingdom
Key people
Sir Peter Gershon (Chairman)
John Pettigrew (Chief Executive)
Products Electricity transmission
Gas distribution and transmission
Revenue £15,115 million (2016)[1]
£4,085 million (2016)[1]
£2,594 million (2016)[1]
Number of employees
25,068 (2017)[2]
A National Grid van working in central England

National Grid plc is a British multinational electricity and gas utility company headquartered in Warwick, United Kingdom. Its principal activities are in the United Kingdom and North Eastern United States.

National Grid has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It had a market capitalisation of approximately £40.4 billion on 23 September 2016, the twentieth largest of any company, with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange.[3] It has a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange.


Background (CEGB before 1990)[edit]

Before 1990, both the generation and transmission activities in England and Wales were under the responsibility of Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB). The present electricity market in the United Kingdom was built upon the breakup of the CEGB into four separate companies in the 1990s.[4]

Its generation (or upstream) activities were transferred to three generating companies—PowerGen, National Power, and Nuclear Electric (later British Energy, eventually EDF Energy)—and its transmission (or downstream) activities to the National Grid Company.[5]

National Grid and acquisitions (1990-2000)[edit]

In 1990, the transmission activities of the CEGB were transferred to the National Grid Company plc, which was owned by the twelve regional electricity companies (RECs) through a holding company, National Grid Group plc. The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1995.[6]

With the beginning of the new millennium, National Grid pursued some major mergers and acquisitions. In 2000, National Grid Group acquired New England Electric System and Eastern Utilities Associates.[7] In January 2002, National Grid Group acquired Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, a New York State utility.[8]

In October 2002, National Grid Group merged with Lattice Group plc, owner of Transco—the gas distribution business (Lattice demerged from BG Group in 2000).[9] National Grid Group changed its name to National Grid Transco plc.[10]

Expansion and consolidation (2000-present)[edit]

In August 2004, National Grid Transco agreed to sell four of its regional gas distribution networks. The total cash consideration was £5.8 billion. NGT kept ownership of other four distribution networks, which comprise almost half of Great Britain's gas distribution network.[11] In July 2005, National Grid Transco was renamed National Grid plc. On 26 July 2005, National Grid Company was renamed National Grid Electricity Transmission plc, and on 10 October 2005, Transco was renamed National Grid Gas plc.[12]

In February 2006, National Grid announced that it had agreed to buy KeySpan Corporation,[13] a gas distributor and electricity producer in the United States, for $7.3bn (£4.1bn) in cash. Around the same time, National Grid also announced the acquisition of the Southern Union Company subsidiary, New England Gas Company in Rhode Island.[14] The acquisitions of the two natural gas delivery companies materially doubled the size of National Grid's American subsidiary, creating the second largest utility in the United States with more than 8 million customers. The acquisition of KeySpan was completed on 24 August 2007 following government and regulatory approval and endorsement by the shareholders of the two companies.[15]

In May 2007, National Grid formed a joint venture with the Dutch transmission operator TenneT for a 260-kilometre (160 mi) 1,000 MW BritNed DC link between the Isle of Grain in Kent and Maasvlakte, near Rotterdam.[16][17] The installation of the first section of cable link started on 11 September 2009,[18] whilst the entire 260 km (160 mi) cable was completed in October 2010.[19] The interconnection became operational on 1 April 2011,[20][21] and by January 2012, electricity flow had mostly been from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom.[22] The BritNed interconnection would serve as a vital link for the foreseeable European super grid project.[23]

Also in spring 2011 National Grid sold off its services in New Hampshire, after their request to increase gas and electric rates was denied.[24]

In November 2015, it was announced that Steve Holliday, the CEO for ten years, would leave in March 2016, and that John Pettigrew, its executive director who joined National Grid twenty five years ago, would succeed him.[25] In June 2016, the Energy Select Committee argued that the company faced too many conflicts of interest, particularly with regard to its ownership of international interconnectors. The committee proposed that the company should be split up.[26]

In December 2016, National Grid agreed to sell a 61% stake in its gas distribution business, to a consortium of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Allianz Capital Partners, Hermes Investment Management, CIC Capital Corporation, Qatar Investment Authority, Dalmore Capital and Amber Infrastructure Limited, with a further 14% stake under negotiation. The sale is due to be completed by 31 March 2017, subject to clearance by the European Commission.[27]


United Kingdom[edit]

  • National Grid Electricity Transmission plc (formerly National Grid Company) owns and operates the National Grid high voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales. Since 1 April 2005, it also operates the electricity transmission network in Scotland (although this is still owned by Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern Energy).[28]
    • National Grid plc part owns and operates a 2,000 Megawatt HVDC link to France (HVDC Cross-Channel) with RTE.
    • National Grid plc part owns and operates a 1,000 Megawatt HVDC link to the Netherlands (BritNed) with TenneT.
    • National Grid Gas plc (formerly Transco) owns and operates the gas transmission network (from terminals to distributors), known as the National Transmission System (NTS), and four distribution networks (from national network to customers): North West of England, East of England (which is split into two areas—East Anglia & East Midlands), West Midlands and London; the distribution networks were former regional divisions of British Gas.
    • As of 2012, the National Grid Property Portfolio was formed to house all RESP land, offices and depots used for National Grid operations that are now surplus to requirements or let to third parties

United States[edit]

  • National Grid United States operates over 9,000 miles (14,000 km) of electricity transmission and delivers electricity and natural gas to areas of the Northeast states of Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island serving over 3.3 million customers with electrical power and 3.4 million customers with natural gas.[29] The business is currently headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts in a 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2) LEED certified "green" facility.[29] This subsidiary carries out its business through a number of subsidiary companies (all doing business as "National Grid"). The main ones are:[12]
    • New England Power Company;
    • Massachusetts Electric Company (in Massachusetts);
    • Nantucket Electric (in Massachusetts);
    • The Narragansett Electric Company (in Rhode Island);
    • Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation (in New York State);
    • KeySpan Corporation (parts of New York City);
    • Boston Gas Company (including the former Essex Gas Company in Massachusetts); and
    • Colonial Gas Company (in Massachusetts)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). National Grid plc. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Employees". National Grid. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "Telegraph Share Indices". Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Lessons from Liberalised Electricity Markets" (PDF). IEA / OECD. 2005. p. 68. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  5. ^ "A whole world sold on sell-offs". The Guardian. 22 November 2000. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "NATIONAL GRID Share Price - NG.L- Yahoo! UK & Ireland Finance". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Another US buy for National Grid". BBC News. 26 January 1999. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "National Grid acquires Niagara Mohawk". Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  9. ^ Barker, Sophie (23 April 2002). "Grid and Lattice form utility supergroup". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "From Transco (Part of BG Plc) to National Grid". Gas Archive. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  11. ^ "National Grid Transco sells four gas pipelines". CBS. 31 August 2004. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "History". National Grid. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  13. ^ "National Grid – Keyspan Merger Provides New Savings And Expanded Resources To New Hampshire Customers". 27 February 2006. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "Electric Utility buying Rhode Island Gas Company". 17 February 2006. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "National Grid buy US gas company". BBC News. 27 February 2006. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "BritNed Submarine HVDC Cable To Connect UK And The Netherlands", Power Online, retrieved 2 October 2008 
  17. ^ Fineren, Daniel (22 May 2007). "New cable to link UK and Dutch power grids". Reuters. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  18. ^ Hornby, Catherine (11 September 2009). "Dutch-UK marine power cable laying starts". Reuters. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  19. ^ "Global Marine Systems Completes Power Connection Between the Netherlands and the UK" (PDF) (Press release). Global Marine Systems. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  20. ^ Paulsson, Lars (24 February 2011). "Dutch, U.K. Regulators Approve Britned Power Cable Trading". Bloomberg. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  21. ^ "BritNed cable electrically connects United Kingdom and the Netherlands" (Press release). TenneT. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  22. ^ Justin Wilkes et al. The European offshore wind industry: key 2011 trends and statistics. European Wind Energy Association, January 2012. p. 22. Accessed: 26 March 2012.
  23. ^ "Why Do We Need The Supergrid, What Is Its Scope And What Will It Achieve?". Claverton Energy Group. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  24. ^, Jillian. "National Grid will leave NH". The Eagle Tribune. Archived from the original on 5 July 2016. 
  25. ^ "National Grid chief to step down". The Guardian. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  26. ^ Kiran Stacey (17 June 2016). "National Grid should be broken up, say MPs". Financial Times. Retrieved 19 June 2016. 
  27. ^ "National Grid sells majority stake in gas pipe network". BBC News. 8 December 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  28. ^ "What we do in the Electricity Industry". National Grid. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  29. ^ a b Turner, Greg (4 December 2007). "National Grid to settle in Waltham". The Waltham News Tribune. Waltham, Massachusetts: GateHouse Media, Inc. Archived from the original on 25 July 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 

External links[edit]