More wind generation connections in Scotland will lead to an increase in north-to-south transmission demand.
The network will need new capacity to transport power across Scotland and much of England to meet demand in the south according to National Grid’s ‘Electricity Ten Year Statement 2015’ published today.
The statement, which shows likely future transmission requirements, predicts new nuclear plants will connect towards the edge of the network and with “the latest technology, they will be much larger than the generators they are replacing at the same locations”.
These parts of the network usually have connections with limited capacity and the extra transmission capacity needed by the new plants, means the local transmission networks will have to be developed.
It also suggests there will be more interconnectors and greater capacity connecting the GB electricity system to Europe in the future.
It adds these interconnectors are expected to connect around the country – mainly in the south – importing and exporting power. They will vary the NETS (National Electricity Transmission System) power-flow mix and mean some parts of the networks will need to be developed.
The report also states: “Ageing assets and environmental regulations mean many thermal generators have closed or will close in the next decade. When there are closures near demand centres there is less support for the system, which makes operating the network more challenging.”
It adds during the past few years there has been “unprecedented growth in embedded generation connecting across the country, mainly solar power in the south” and this along with “decreasing reactive demand in our system, presents new challenges” which National Grid has said it will continue to work with the industry to meet.
“Given the changing energy landscape, off-peak conditions become increasingly important as a driver of investment. Therefore we will consider with Ofgem and the industry how best to reflect this requirement in future years.”