Electricity networks have asked for customer feedback before the last week in January on how to manage new resources that want to connect to the network, and the points under review will be under discussion in a webinar on 10 January.
The consultation refers to projects proposed or in train that will connect to the network, and following a change to broaden make the process technology-neutral it also includes assets such as storage, alongside different types of electricity generation.
The consultation covers two detailed aspects of the connection procedures. The first applies when new resources who may want to connect to the network start to interact with each other – possibly because they represent more than the ‘spare’ capacity available. This ‘interactivity’ is handled in different ways by different networks and the consultation asks how developers would like to see it handled in future.
The second issue is ‘queue management’. This refers to assets that have a connection agreement and are expected to be built. Some projects have retained their connection agreement although construction has been long-delayed, ‘blocking’ other projects from taking up the unused capacity. Since 2016 networks have monitored a series of project milestones, but their only recourse has been to reset deadlines or cancel the connection agreement. That can allow new projects into the queue, but it is not a flexible answer and adds uncertainty elsewhere in the process – for example where network changes are required at transmission level to accommodate distribution connections. The system also has little ability to accommodate assets (such as storage) where it would be beneficial to connect ‘out of turn’.
The consultation seeks views on how to develop this process as part of broader work on queue management proposed in 2019, which covers:
- Development of consistent milestones across transmission and distribution
- Development of approaches to flex milestones as part of a queue managementprocess
- Options for managing customers up and down the queue
- A further consultation on these options
- Publication of the Treatment of Flexibility report and updated roadmap based on thefeedback received through this consultation and that undertaken by the Charging Futures Forum.
The consultation closes on 25 January and interested parties can join a webinar on the process on 10 January