UK Power Networks, England’s biggest distribution network operator, is the latest to put numbers to accelerated connection of new low carbon assets across its region, achieved under a national initiative.

Serving 20 million customers across London, southern England and east Anglia, the DNO says it has used the ‘Technical Issues’ collaborative programme between netcos to speed  up 25 new generation projects on its patch.

A total of 836MW of new capacity can now connect as soon as the projects are built, says the DNO, cutting waiting times in some cases by years.

As the netcos’ response to fury from developers facing connection delays in some cases of a decade or more, ‘Technical Issues’ works by offering solar-, wind-farm and battery hook-ups at supply nodes to lower voltage regional DNO grids, and before necessary reinforcements can be made to the NG’s higher voltage national transmission system.

Algorithmic routing then eases the likelihood of pinch points being overloaded at times of highest demand or highest generation, cutting the chances of wasteful, expensive ‘curtailment’ of the new assets’ output.

A relaxation of restrictive practices, in other words, while maintaining safety, and all achieved over what grid operators know as their Distributed Energy Resource Management (DERMS) platform.

UKN says it is also taking a ‘leading role’ in the Strategic Connections Group led by industry body the Energy Networks Association.

UKPN customers it cites as having benefitted from speedier connection offers include a 98MW solar farm in East Anglia and a 100MW combined storage and solar site in the South East.

They are among 14 projects in East Anglia totalling 465MW and a further 11 ventures in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, totalling 371MW. That volume of new generation amounts to roughly one fifth of the peak demand of the London distribution network.

Giles Frampton of developer Evolution Power said one of its solar farms can now connect four years earlier than planned.

“Working closely with UK Power Networks, we have been able to bring forward a solar PV project’s connection date by four years, which will significantly contribute to the UK’s progress towards Net Zero and Energy Security, whilst also driving down the cost of electricity for both domestic and industrial consumers”, said Frampton.

UKPN’s director of DSO Sotiris Georgiopoulos  said: “We’re taking real, tangible action to help our customers overcome the long-term challenges on the national transmission system, an approach that is ultimately going to get more green energy into more people’s homes and businesses.

“This is just another step on our journey, and it is only by co-operation and collaboration that we’re able to make such important strides towards achieving Net Zero.”


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