National Grid readies 10GW capacity for ‘shovel-ready’ renewable projects

National Grid Electricity Distribution has unveiled a 10GW distribution capacity for fresh renewable energy projects spanning the Midlands, South Wales and the South West

Big Zero Report 2023

National Grid Electricity Distribution has unveiled plans to release 10GW of grid capacity earmarked for connecting renewable energy projects, including solar farms, onshore wind and battery storage.

This announcement comes after consultations with stakeholders, including National Grid ESO, Ofgem and the UK Government, to find innovative solutions for expediting the integration of low carbon technologies.

Under a new agreement with the electricity system operator, projects requiring additional transmission network reinforcement will have the opportunity to connect immediately under an interim, non-firm connection arrangement.

In return for early access, some projects may face curtailment during periods of excess generation, such as exceptionally windy or sunny summer days.

However, as network capacity grows, these interim arrangements will ultimately transition to firm connections.

Starting in October, National Grid Electricity Distribution will replace the current “first come, first served” connection model with a dynamic “first ready, first connected” approach.

This updated method aims to accelerate the connection of “shovel-ready” projects, enabling faster integration of low carbon initiatives.

Cordi O’Hara, President of National Grid Electricity Distribution, said: “Making it quicker and easier for our customers to connect to the network is a priority for us.

“With the volume of new connection applications soaring as the UK moves at pace to deliver net zero, we know a ‘fit for the future’ connections process will be vital to meet current and future demand.

“The changes we’ve made will not just allow some customers to accelerate their connections dates but will allow a more agile approach to managing connections requests.”

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