Key Solutions raised in the Action Plan
- Raise Entry Requirements – To increase the quality of projects applying for transmission connections and deter speculative connection applications. Subject to Ofgem’s approval, the ESO will start requiring a landowner Letter of Authority to evidence permission from a landowner for a transmission network connection application to be accepted.
- Remove stalled projects – To release capacity for more viable projects. Introduction of milestones in transmission connection contracts which a connection customer must meet or face termination of their connection contract – this would result in affected customers losing their position in the queue.
- Better utilise existing network capacity to reduce connection timelines – Changes to how the impact of connections is assessed by the ESO and network companies, beyond existing actions, and enhance use of flexibility, including non-firm/flexible connections.
- Better allocate available network capacity – Moving away from the first come first served approach to one that connects projects that are readier to progress and are able to quickly make use of capacity.
- Improve data and processes and sharpen obligations and incentives – Give connection customers a better understanding of the condition of networks, to improve the quality of their connection applications and reduce speculative applications. Ensure network companies deliver timely connections and high-quality customer service, as well as acting consistently. This will ensure that all customers receive the same high-quality service from the ESO and network companies wherever they are located, improve the interaction and consistency between transmission and distribution, and that network companies deliver timely connections.
- Develop longer term connections process models – Models will be aligned with strategic planning and market reform, to ensure they are integrated to deliver strategic outcomes for a timely and efficient transition to net zero energy system.
The government’s plan for energy efficiency and renewable energy will have both immediate and enduring impacts. The plan, combined with ESO and network company initiatives, could bring forward £50-100bn of capital expenditure over the next 10 years. In the immediate term, the ESO will free up around 100GW of transmission capacity, which is similar to the 90-100GW of generation capacity needed by 2030 to align with net zero pathways
Short-term actions by the Energy Networks Association (ENA)
will accelerate around 30GW of generation connections, improving connection dates for some existing customers by up to 10 years. The plan will be implemented by a new Ofgem-chaired Connections Delivery Board, which will provide strategic direction, accountability, track progress against targets, and mandate further actions as required. The actions will positively impact all types of connection customers, from large-scale renewable generation to industrial decarbonisation projects and freeports.
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Please get in touch with our team to discuss how this may impact your projects.