This paper presents the results of research into local people's involvement in energy infrastructure planning, in the context of the regulatory processes for ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects’ (NSIPs) and focusing specifically on major renewable energy infrastructure (REI) in England and Wales. It builds on recent work around public views of REI, by looking at the new opportunities for public involvement established through the participation mechanisms of the NSIPs regime. A survey explored opportunities for influence, perceptions of influence and confidence in the results of decisions; local people's responses signaled areas of concern. Reflections on these perspectives in light of interview data from community facilitators and the survey responses of other actors suggest that the new duties within the processes shape the participatory experiences. Conclusions consider the implications for practice.