The government energy regulator Ofgem is consulting on the subject of 'quicker and more efficient distribution connections'.
The consultation offers a particularly timely opportunity following the announcement last month by local network operator, Western Power Distribution, that capacity problems on the high-voltage transmission network near Bristol will make much of the NFU South West region (i.e. Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and parts of Dorset) subject to three to six-year delays for renewable generation connections.
It is most important that NFU members understand what technical options are becoming available, including export limiters and storage batteries, so we are taking the opportunity to express our concerns that the grid connection process appears to be getting "slower and less efficient" from the point of view of small-scale generators.
The consultation questions are quite technical, but we will take the opportunity to comment upon:
- creating new network capacity in anticipation of future connection requirements
- finding smart ways to reduce the need for additional capacity, thereby speeding up the process
- more flexible connection terms which could lessen the initial cost burden falling upon some customers.
The NFU is also supporting a joint consultation response from the Farm Power project, coordinated by Forum for the Future
Farm Power is collecting evidence to build the case for making it easier and faster to connect to the grid. If you have struggled with grid connections for your renewables project, please do consider filling in this survey before 15th May. Data collected will be treated as confidential and anonymized in the joint consultation response, unless you indicate otherwise.