ESO cracks down on 144 ‘zombie’ projects, threatening termination

The Electricity System Operator will have the authority to terminate these projects if they fail to demonstrate progress against their milestones

The electricity system operator (ESO)could soon take decisive action against 144 ‘zombie’ projects.

This follows the new rules announced yesterday by Ofgem to accelerate grid connections in the UK.

The new rules, announced by Ofgem, grant the ESO the authority to proactively manage the connections process and terminate projects that are not progressing as per their milestones.

Queue management milestones will be inserted into all transmission grid connection contracts with a connection date scheduled post-November 2025, as well as new connection applications.

Projects will now have a six-month window to apply for a more realistic connection date, or they risk being terminated by the ESO.

Taking immediate action, the ESO has commissioned DNV, an independent engineering consultancy, to inspect the 144 potentially high-risk projects accounting for approximately 29GW of capacity.

This evaluation will provide an independent assessment of their ability to meet contracted connection dates.

The move aims to address the backlog in the grid connections queue and accelerate the connections process.

By doing so, Ofgem and the ESO hope to create a more efficient pathway for viable businesses to connect to the grid.

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