Proposed change in the process for requesting connection to the National Grid

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The CEA has just received some information regarding a proposed change in the process for requesting connection to the National Grid which may be of relevance to some of our members.

Grid connections are often cited by international investors as a barrier to investment in the UK. DESNZ, OFGEM and National Grid ESO are working on a Connections Action Plan to speed up the connection process and find a way for both generation and demand can connect sooner. The current proposal DESNZ and ESO are working on suggests there would only be one application window a year to apply for a connection. DESNZ and ESO believe this would allow them to streamline the process and ultimately lead to faster connection dates, but it would mean that project owners could have to wait up to a year to apply. Currently, customers can apply for a connection anytime.

The National Grid ran a consultation exercise on these proposals between 13th June and 28th July.

“This reform project forms part of our (National Grid) longer-term vision for change to the connections process. We also have a number of short-term initiatives to speed up connections to the grid, through our five-point plan.

All responses to our Connections Reform consultation are now being reviewed, and we’re working with stakeholder governance groups to refine our final proposals for implementing and transitioning to a new model. You can read the responses in the key documents section.

We expect to publish our final recommendations and implementation plan by the end of November 2023. We will then start a transition and implementation phase, to conclude in spring/summer 2025.

Join us on 16 October for our London connections seminar to discuss how we’re improving the connections process for customers to speed up the transition to a zero-carbon electricity system.”

https://www.nationalgrideso.com/industry-information/connections/connections-reform

https://www.nationalgrideso.com/document/281561/download Page 30:

Variation 4 –Application Windows

This variation considers the introduction of a time-restrictive element to the submission and/or assessment of connection applications. This would be where applications would be processed and assessed on a “batched basis” rather than the developer-triggered year-round process currently in place.  This would allow greater co-ordination of the design of the network required as a result of connection applications. However, we noted that this may cause industry stakeholders some challenges e.g. reduced flexibility for submission of connection applications and greater time to receive a connection offer than under the current arrangements.

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