Ofgem announces new policy to cut waiting time for energy grid connection
Ofgem, the UK's energy regulator, has unveiled new rules aimed at expediting electricity grid connections for viable projects while removing stalled or speculative developments from the queue.
This marks a departure from the previous 'first-come, first-served' system, which resulted in a backlog of energy projects capable of generating nearly 400GW, well beyond the country's energy needs.
The changes, to be implemented by National Grid ESO from November 27, 2023, introduce milestones into connection agreements, allowing termination of projects that fail to meet them. This move is intended to prioritize ready-to-go projects supporting the transition to net zero. Ofgem's CEO, Jonathan Brearley, emphasised the need for urgent reform in May to attract new investments and achieve national targets for offshore wind and solar capacity.
The announcement precedes a joint connections action plan by Ofgem and the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, as well as the government's response to recommendations to expedite transmission infrastructure construction. National Grid ESO's five-point plan, backed by Ofgem, includes initiatives to enhance capacity and accelerate connection dates for transmission projects.
Ofgem has approved CMP376, specifically WACM7. This will see a queue management process applied to new and existing Construction Agreements, with associated termination powers provided to National Grid ESO where projects fail to meet set milestones. These changes to the CUSC will take effect from November 2023.
MP376 is a code modification addressing issues in the transmission system connection process. WACM7 has been approved to introduce a Queue Management process into the Connection and Use of System Code (CUSC). This involves implementing Milestones, and indicators of project progression in customers' connection contracts.
Compliance with Milestones is necessary to demonstrate progression toward completion. Failure to meet Milestones grants the National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) contract termination rights. WACM7 applies Queue Management to new connectees, those with existing connection contracts or offers with Completion Dates two or more years from the CMP376 Implementation Date, and those with Completion Dates within two years if NGESO believes the project is not progressing adequately.
Teodora’s rich background varies from working in business development for a renewable energy lobbying association in Brussels to the fast moving technology innovation startup scene in the UK.
She has designed the market strategy for a German renewable energy engineering scale up for the UK, listed on Nasdaq private market, and now one of the fastest growing scale ups in the world. Previous experience also includes managing a renewable energy startup in London, which has built a small-scale biomass CHP power plant. Teodora is passionate about cross-industry collaboration and working together with academia to inform the design of future educational models and skill building.
Most recently Teodora has ran the commercial activities and business development at Future Cities Catapult, focusing on innovation in cities, digital health and wellbeing, mobility, and infrastructure. Teodora is a passionate STEM Ambassador and a vocal advocate for women in tech.