New distributed generation, storage and other local electricity projects could see faster connection times from the autumn, when a new guide for managing the connections will come into effect.
The Open Networks initiative, run by the Energy Networks Association, is consulting on the final version of the guide, which allows local electricity networks to manage the ‘queue’ of projects waiting to connect to their networks.
Queues arise where there are more new projects than the grid can immediately accommodate. Lack of flexibility has meant that, for example, there was no opportunity to ‘leapfrog’ projects that had been delayed, or to bring forward projects (such as storage) that would effectively make more capacity available. Instead, network operators had to provide capacity on a strictly ‘first come first served’ basis.
Two earlier consultations have developed flexibility measures that would allow network operators to manage the queue by:
- Take action on contracted projects if they are not progressing against agreed contract milestones;
- Progress projects up the queue where capacity is made available;
- Terminate connection offers where projects are not progressing in reasonable timescales, delaying the connection of other customers;
- Use flexible resources to better utilise the available capacity.
Now Open Networks is seeking confirmation that a new User Guide ensures the new principles have not been accurately reflected in the drafting. The new User Guide will take effect in Q4 2020.
See the consultation history here and respond to the consultation by 24 June.