|Public limited company|
|Predecessor||Central Electricity Generating Board|
|Headquarters||London, England, UK|
Gas distribution and transmission
|Revenue||£15.250 billion (2018)|
|£3.410 billion (2018)|
|£3.550 billion (2018)|
|£58.787 billion (2018)|
|£18.832 billion (2018)|
Number of employees
National Grid plc is a multinational electricity and gas utility company headquartered in London, England. Its principal activities are in the United Kingdom and Northeastern United States. It has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It has a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
National Grid is one of the largest "investor-owned" utility companies in the world, and it provides gas to 10 million customers and electricity to 10 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Before 1990, both the generation and transmission activities in England and Wales were under the responsibility of the 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.
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.
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.
With the beginning of the new millennium, National Grid pursued mergers and acquisitions. In 2000, National Grid Group acquired New England Electric System and Eastern Utilities Associates. In January 2002, National Grid Group acquired Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, a New York State utility.
In October 2002, National Grid Group merged with Lattice Group, owner of the Transco gas distribution business (Lattice had demerged from BG Group in 2000). National Grid Group changed its name to National Grid Transco plc. It sold the telecoms business 186K Ltd. which was acquired as part of the merger with Lattice Group for a nominal £1 to Hutchison Whampoa in 2002. In August 2004, National Grid Transco agreed to sell four of its regional gas distribution networks for a total cash consideration of £5.8 billion.
NGT kept ownership of four other distribution networks, which comprise almost half of Great Britain's gas distribution network. 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.
In February 2006, National Grid announced that it had agreed to buy KeySpan Corporation, 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 New England Gas Company, a Rhode Island subsidiary of Southern Union Company.
The acquisitions of the two natural gas delivery companies 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.
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. The installation of the first section of cable link started on 11 September 2009, and the entire 260 km (160 mi) cable was completed in October 2010.
The interconnection became operational on 1 April 2011, and by January 2012, electricity flow had mostly been from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom. The BritNed interconnection would serve as a vital link for the foreseeable European super grid project. In the spring of 2011, National Grid sold off its services in New Hampshire, after their request to increase gas and electric rates was denied.
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 earlier, would succeed him. 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.
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 was completed on 31 March 2017, following clearance by the European Commission, and the resulting company was named Cadent Gas.
In July 2019, National Grid's Electricity System Operator arm, separately from its Electricity Transmission arm, announced its intent to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance, furthering its goal of becoming a zero carbon electricity system by 2025. At the time of its announcement, National Grid was the largest energy company based in the United Kingdom to join the alliance, according to publicly available 2018 financial figures.
Later in the year the company moved ownership of its UK operations to Luxembourg and Hong Kong to protect itself from Labour's nationalisation plans. A spokesman said, "Labour's proposals for state ownership of National Grid would be highly detrimental to millions of ordinary people who either hold shares in the company or through their pension funds." The Labour Party said the "rip-off" move showed the grid needed to be in public hands.
National Grid invests over $3.5 billion a year in infrastructure in the United States. As of 2019, the company increased its investments into "cleaner, greener technologies" in the last few years. Examples of projects include an offshore wind farm in Rhode Island and a battery-storage project in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Contract negotiations with Massachusetts gas workers represented by the United Steelworkers broke down in June 2018, and the company locked out more than 1,000 employees, cutting off healthcare and pay.
In 2019, the company squabbled with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over the company's own moratorium on new natural gas hookups. Cuomo threatened "to revoke the company's authority to operate its gas franchise in New York City and Long Island, for failing to provide customers with reliable service," according to Utility Dive.
On 2 April 1990, the natural gas lines serving homes in Danvers, Massachusetts were accidentally over pressurized by a Boston Gas Co. worker. This resulted in fires and explosions along Lafayette St., Maple St., Venice St. and Beaver Park Av. Six people had to be treated for injuries.