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Nearly 1GW of new energy generation set for fast-track connection

Nearly 1GW of new energy generation set for fast-track connection

Almost 1GW of energy generation will be connected under a fast-track scheme spearheaded by UK Power Networks’ Distribution System Operator.

The fast-track scheme enables 25 projects, totalling 836MW, to connect more swiftly than previously anticipated, some of which were facing wait times of a decade or more. 

A diverse array of projects have been approved under the scheme, such as a 98MW solar farm in the East of England and a 100MW site combining storage and solar in the South East. These projects, among others in the regions, represent significant steps toward bolstering the network’s capacity. Collectively, these projects in the East of England and in areas like Kent, Surrey, and Sussex could provide roughly one-fifth of the peak demand of the London distribution network.

This announcement marks the beginning of a series of planned capacity releases aimed at integrating multiple gigawatts of new generation projects by 2024. This progress has been facilitated by a novel approach titled Technical Limits, part of UK Power Networks’ Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS), which aims to enhance the network’s capacity to accommodate more generation safely and efficiently.

Across the nation, network operators are addressing the challenges of securing new connections, which are often hindered by limitations on the national transmission system. Some developers had been advised of potential delays extending up to 15 years if no interventions were made.

Sotiris Georgiopoulos, Director of DSO at UK Power Networks, emphasized the collaborative efforts driving these advancements: “We’re taking real, tangible action to help our customers overcome the long-term challenges on the national transmission system, an approach that is ultimately going to get more green energy into more people’s homes and businesses. This is just another step on our journey, and it is only by co-operation and collaboration that we’re able to make such important strides towards achieving Net Zero.”

Giles Frampton, Director at Evolution Power Limited, shared his positive experience with the scheme: “Working closely with UK Power Networks we have been able to bring forward a solar PV project’s connection date by four years, which will significantly contribute to the UK’s progress towards Net Zero and Energy Security, whilst also driving down the cost of electricity for both domestic and industrial consumers.

“We’re delighted that UK Power Networks is serious about working with renewable energy providers in tackling the challenge of connecting to the grid. UK Power Networks’ proactive engagement with developers is making a real difference to schemes that are ready to deliver low-carbon, low-cost, sustainable green energy for the benefit of all.”

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