National Grid Electricity Distribution (NGED) has launched a report to grant developers an anonymised view of generation connection pipelines for specific Grid Supply Points (GSPs).
By providing this data the system operator hopes that developers will be able to develop an idea of what their connection timeline might look like and “any potential interim in availability if their connection was accelerated”.
Informed by some of NGED’s largest business-to-business generators (Octopus Energy, RWE, and Severn Trent), the ClearViewConnect report will allow customers to look up GSPs in its licence areas, providing insights into technical data such as capacity, and information on reinforcement works.
The combined offering of the report is hoped to provide developers a “high-level” view on the time and cost of connecting their asset, informing them on which network area can offer the quickest, cheapest and most realistic connection.
“As a company we have listened to our customers and have set about to find practical ways to accelerate and deliver connections reform and the delivery of key green energy and infrastructure projects. Customers who are developing new schemes across our network need to understand which connection points offer them the best chance to connect when they want, at the lowest cost,” said Cordi O’Hara, president of NGED.
“Our ClearViewConnect report provides this and is an important step to deliver insights about the profile of our connection pipelines, helping customers make informed decisions.
“We are also keen to work with the rest of the industry to share the learnings and model from this process, so that they can be easily replicated by individual DNOs as an offer to their customers.”
By giving developers a more informed connection outlook, the report could also mean less viable projects are withdrawn from the connection pipeline, bolstering the UK’s efforts to clear the grid connection queue.
A ‘welcome step forward’
Efforts to clear the UK’s connection queue have recently received a significant boost, with Ofgem granting National Grid ESO powers to terminate ‘phantom’ projects in the grid connection queue, as well as the development of a new robust milestone system for connection contracts being put in place only a week before the government’s Grid Connections Action Plan was released confirming the new “first ready, first connected” system.
“This is a welcome step forward,” said Steve McMahon, interim director – network price controls at Ofgem, in response to the ClearViewConnect report.
“Improving the transparency and consistency of data for network users is core to our Data Best Practice Guidance and we are pleased to see NGED making more data available to those seeking connections to their electricity networks.
“We encourage NGED, and all networks, to continue to work closely with their customers, and each other, to ensure that the provision of network and connections data across GB, for all parts of the system, is co-ordinated and responsive to stakeholder needs.”