Major new project to boost grid capacity, cut costs for generators

A major new service aimed at cutting costs for renewables and other generators to connect to the grid across the South East of England has been launched. National Grid and […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A major new service aimed at cutting costs for renewables and other generators to connect to the grid across the South East of England has been launched.

National Grid and UK Power Networks have joined forces to develop a new framework that allows power generators to connect to the network without requiring costly reinforcements on the transmission network from Bolney in Sussex to Canterbury in Kent.

Currently, new electricity generators in some areas of Kent and Sussex face significant costs in connecting to the grid due to transmission network constraints.

According to UK Power Networks, significant amounts of renewable energy generation, a nuclear power station and interconnecting cables to Europe make management of the electricity flows a “complex challenge” for transmission and distribution network firms, which own and operate the cables and wires.

The new service, which is now live, is being offered to new generation customers connecting in the South East – expected to enable customers to connect to the network “faster, cheaper and more easily”.

UK Power Networks said the two organisations will use “visibility, co-ordination and control” to ensure customers can export more energy onto the national transmission network.

New commercial arrangements will also be developed and put in place over time to incentivise power generators to offer this type of flexible service, whereby they can increase or decrease their output to help balance the operation of the national transmission network.

Nick Easton, Programme Manager Whole System at National Grid said: “We are committed to working with network operators to facilitate the transition to a smart, flexible electricity system. In doing so, we will be able to optimise planning, investment and operational processes across the whole electricity system.

“As well as benefitting customers, this work is going to provide more capacity for renewable energy in a constrained area. For the first time, we will see the positive impact of what can be achieved when network operators work with the system operator to make things better for our customers and this will set the scene for what we can achieve in future.”