EY with ESB Networks


ESB Networks is the electricity Distribution Systems Operator (DSO) in Ireland, which means it manages the infrastructure (wires and substations) that connect businesses and homes to the national grid. As such, it has a pivotal role to play in achieving Ireland’s national Climate Action Plan and EU climate directives.

It is estimated that a majority of new generation capacity in the electric grid between now and 2030 will be renewable, distributed generation– making up 70% of all capacity. Additionally, it is expected that Ireland will have over 800,000 electric vehicles on the road in 2030, driving unprecedented demand on the electricity network. The two forces – which underpin Ireland’s route to net zero – pose technical, operational and economic challenges for the network and its customers.

As a consequence, ESB Networks needed to redefine itself to accommodate this Irish energy transition and enable its customers to actively participate in the energy ecosystem in a whole new way. It engaged EY to help define its future options and make long-term strategic decisions that would support the development of its Active System Management Programme (ASM) strategy. Our primary role was to bring insight, strategy and solutions from a technology and programme delivery standpoint.  the objectives of the ASM Programme were:

  • To establish the capabilities – systems, processes, people and data – to hit Ireland’s renewables and decarbonisation targets by actively managing the distribution system
  • To implement the Clean Energy Package by integrating active customers, communities and distributed generation into distribution, transmission and market operations to deliver on the country’s Climate Action Plan
  • Clarify the new competences and roles and the regulatory framework that will allow ESB Network to operate in a fully decarbonised power sector

EY explored what other utilities were doing and added local specific context within those solutions. We submitted a brief on new innovative technologies, which included high-level specs for each vendor. 20 deliverables were met in six months and we conducted 40 workshops with over 50 stakeholders with strategic collaboration and initiatives such as:

  • Engaging with senior management to bring the energy utility’s purpose, core values and strategic objectives to life across the business
  • Defining future policies for system operations and for engaging with key decision makers such as regulators and large generators
  • Leading future operations studies and identifying opportunities for innovation and new technologies on the grid
  • Delivering high-level and detailed design across process, systems and organisation for the future state operating model
  • Providing a maturity assessment methodology to assess the future state requirements of ESB Networks’ business

View the EY profile in the MCA Members Directory.