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Clean energy projects receive accelerated grid connection dates

Electricity networks in England and Wales have accelerated the grid connection offer dates for 7.8GW of clean energy projects, more than double the output of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station

Electricity networks in England and Wales have expedited the grid connection offer dates for over 200 clean energy projects, totalling 7.8GW, surpassing the output of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

This acceleration, facilitated by the Technical Limits programme, enables projects to connect to lower voltage distribution networks before the reinforcement of high voltage transmission networks.

The Technical Limits programme, implemented by National Grid Electricity Transmission, Energy Networks Association, the Electricity System Operator, and Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), aims to streamline connections to the grid in collaboration with Ofgem and the government.

Last month, a solar farm in Somerset became the first project to be energised under this initiative, significantly ahead of its planned connection date.

Through detailed power flow analysis and agreement on new power flow limits, engineers from National Grid and DNOs have issued connection offers to 203 projects, with an average acceleration of 6.5 years.

This effort is part of broader industry collaboration to accelerate clean energy projects, aligning with the UK’s commitment to net zero emissions.

Jack Presley Abbott, Ofgem Deputy Director for Strategic Planning and Connections, said: “Many projects are still facing years of delay to connect to the grid.

“That’s why we are continuing to work closely with the ESO, network operators, industry and government to ensure the range of reforms set out in the Connections Action Plan are driven through as quickly and effectively as possible to expedite the process for projects that are ready to connect to the grid.”

Lawrence Slade, CEO, Energy Networks Association said: “We are already connecting projects at a faster rate than ever before, but we need strategic changes, particularly in planning processes, if we are to go even faster in meeting the huge demand for new connections.”

David Wildash, Head of Connections at the Electricity System Operator said: “This kind of innovative work to unblock capacity in the short term must take place in tandem with long-term connections reform – as set out in our recently announced ‘First Ready, First Connected’ proposals.”

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