Orkney renewable energy developers stuck in a ‘catch 22′ because of delays in upgrading the network have a month to let Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) know whether a proposed ‘alternative approach’ to upgrades will work.
SSEN said Orkney developers were stuck because the amount of new generation contracting to connect to the network had varied so much in recent years that plans for major reinforcement of the network had been delayed. Currently, developers are unable to progress projects because the reinforcement is uncertain, and the reinforcement is unable to progress because customers are uncertain, said SSEN. That meant new customers could not connect.
The company has proposed an alternative that would upgrade the network piece by piece, allocating capacity to developers on a ‘ready to connect’ basis. It wants feedback on the initial proposals and expects to consult on more detailed proposals in the summer.