What is an NWA?
Non-Wires Alternative (NWA) is the inclusive term for any electrical grid investment that is intended to defer or remove the need to construct or upgrade components of a distribution and/or transmission system, or “wires investment”.
These NWA investments are required to be cost-effective compared to the wires investment and are required to meet the specified electrical grid need.
An NWA can include any action, strategy, program, or technology that meets this definition and these requirements.
Some technologies and methodologies that can be applicable as an NWA investment include demand response, solar, energy storage, combined heat and power (CHP), microgrid, conservation or energy efficiency measure, and other distributed energy resources (DERs) or distributed generation (DG). NWA projects can include these and other investments individually or in combination to meet the specified need in a cost-effective manner.
To identify potential solutions, National Grid issues requests for proposals (RFPs) which are open to all NWA solution approaches. We encourage potential bidders to consider the following solution approaches when developing a proposal:
- Standard solution approach: Solutions that contain a single technology in a single bid proposal.
- Portfolio solution approach: Solutions that contain multiple technologies (i.e., solar and storage, targeted demand response and wind, etc.) in a holistic, integrated manner as part of a single bid proposal.
- Partial solution approach: Partial solutions that provide a portion of the solution requirements may be considered where National Grid can independently identify other partners to formulate a full solution.
- Partnership solution approach: A solution approach where bidders team up as appropriate to offer a multifaceted, multi-bidder solution using multiple technologies as a joint, integrated proposal set, if this would provide the best-value proposition.
The Company may combine multiple, partial Proposals to meet the full need, where a single Proposal alone does not meet the full need, or Bidders could collaborate and submit a combined Proposal, consisting of several partial solutions, that together meet the full need.
National Grid has several long-term goals in consideration, including commitments and environmental considerations stated in the National Grid Responsible Business Charter 20201, which are in alignment with state, federal, and internal drive factors, that impact the viability of any given proposal.
Proposed technologies and methodologies should have the capability to address the electrical grid need and increase grid reliability while being cost-effective in comparison to the wires investment as stated in each RFP. Proposed solutions that meet all the requirements stipulated in an RFP are preferred, by any of the solution approaches detailed above. Please note that National Grid is seeking solutions that currently exist to solve the stated need.
1"National Grid's Responsible Business Charter 2020." Responsibility, National Grid plc,