National Grid

Technical Limits Program Accelerates Clean Energy Connections, Bringing Forward 7.8 GW of Projects by Up to 10 Years

May 14, 2024
Networks have sent offers to 203 projects totaling 7.8 GW with an average connection acceleration of 6.5 years.

Technical Limits, a project from National Grid Electricity Transmission, Energy Networks Association, the Electricity System Operator and the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), is part of the ongoing collaborative industry efforts, together with Ofgem and government, to accelerate and reform connections to the grid.

Scottish Transmission and Distribution network owners, also involved in developing the Technical Limits program, are in the process of introducing the program in their license areas.

The Technical Limits program, allowing projects to connect to lower voltage distribution networks before reinforcement of the high voltage transmission network, has brought connection offer dates of 7.8 GW of clean energy projects, more than double the output of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, forward by up to 10 years.

Currently, networks have sent offers to 203 projects totaling 7.8 GW with an average connection acceleration of 6.5 years. While total 393 projects are eligible for the program, further 190 projects will receive accelerated offers on progressing through the connection offer process. A solar farm near Bridgwater in Somerset has been energized under this scheme.

Horsey Levels solar farm, which will provide clean energy for 10,000 homes annually, connected to National Grid’s electricity distribution network before its planned connection date. This initial acceleration has been delivered in the first phase of the Technical Limits program, with plans for further phases and analysis.

Engineers from National Grid and DNOs analyzed power flows across the boundaries between the transmission and distribution networks to deliver the accelerated offers.

DNOs have offered selected projects an accelerated connection date before transmission network reinforcements are complete by agreeing new power flow limits and on an agreement allowing the operators to limit flows from the project under certain operating conditions.

The 203 connection offers issued in the first phase possess an average export curtailment of 22% per year, with the expectation that in the long term these interim arrangements will be replaced as network capacity increases.

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