ENA’s new action plan speeds up UK’s green grid connections

The Energy Networks Association has released a three-step plan as 69GW of new connection requests were made in the year up to October – the equivalent of a whole grid’s worth of capacity seeking to connect

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has unveiled a three-step plan to expedite grid connections, in response to an unprecedented number of new applications for connection, as the UK races towards net zero.

Since 1992, almost 50GW of renewable electricity projects have been connected to Britain’s electricity networks.

Looking ahead, network operators plan to mobilise over £22 billion of investment into the UK’s electricity distribution infrastructure in the next few years to help support everyone’s net zero transition.

However, the existing connections model was designed for an older generation of technology when far fewer projects with greater certainty sought to connect.

Today, many of the projects seeking connection are not yet “connection ready” or do not have final investment decisions in place.

ENA’s three immediate priority areas include promoting mature projects that are closer to delivery, improving interaction between transmission and distribution networks, and offering greater flexibility for storage customers through new contractual options.

These steps complement National Grid ESO’s Five Point Plan and ongoing work with transmission network operators on Connections Reform.

David Boyer, Director of Electricity Systems at Energy Networks Association, commented that fundamental changes are necessary to meet net zero, and an overhaul of how connections are managed through the regulatory regime and early investment is crucial.

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