Department of Energy and Climate Change

3 March 2010 - Press Release - Government clears away grid connection uncertainty for new generators

3 March 2010 - Press Release - Government clears away grid connection uncertainty for new generators

David KidneyThe final plans for changing the way new electricity generation is connected to the UK’s power grid were published for consultation today by Energy and Climate Change Minister David Kidney.

The plans, called Connect and Manage, will clear the way for renewable energy projects such as wind farms to connect to the grid in time to meet the 2020 renewable energy targets.

David Kidney said:

“Access to the electricity grid has been one of the key barriers to the generation of renewable energy in this country. There is currently around 78 gigawatts of prospective new generation capacity – some 160 projects – that are waiting to be connected to the grid, including over 19 gigawatts from renewable sources.

“The new rules will help these projects get hooked up to the grid as soon as they are ready – helping in the shift to low carbon, secure energy supplies.”

Connect and Manage will enable new generators to connect to the electricity transmission network and start generating as soon as their local connection has been built, without having to wait for wider network reinforcement to be completed.

National Grid then manages the increased constraints on the network as more generation is connected before the completion of wider reinforcement work. Under the proposals, these additional constraint costs are socialised equally across all generators and suppliers in a way that supports new generators.

Notes to editors

  1. The consultation “Improving Grid Access – Technical consultation on the model for improving grid access” starts today (03 March 2010) and will close on 31 March 2010.
     
  2. Connect and Manage was selected as the best way to reform grid access following a consultation on four options last year: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/improving_grid/improving_grid.aspx
     
  3. The consultation can be found at:
    http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/improving_grid/improving_grid.aspx
    Ofgem wrote to the Secretary of State in June recommending that he use his powers. See http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Networks/Trans/ElecTransPolicy/tar/Documents1/Miliband%20-%20250609.PDF.
     
  4. Section 84 of the Energy Act 2008 gives the Secretary of State powers to amend licence conditions and codes for the purpose of facilitating access to, or the efficient use of, a transmission system in Great Britainor offshore waters. The Secretary of State will commence his powers when we implement the new enduring regime, expected by June 2010. The powers will last for two years from that date.
     
  5. The new rules also include an increase in the commitment all power plants must give to National Grid that they will remain connected and generating. This will help the network companies plan what new network build is needed, which in turn will help support new renewable projects and meet our renewable targets. 

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