Electricity networks accelerate potential connection dates of over 200 clean energy projects

7.8GW of clean energy projects, more than double the output of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, have had their connection offer dates brought forward by up to 10 years through the Technical Limits programme, which is allowing projects to connect to lower voltage distribution networks prior to reinforcement of the high voltage transmission network.

Networks have so far sent offers to 203 projects totalling 7.8GW with an average connection acceleration of 6.5 years. In total 393 projects are eligible for the programme with the further 190 projects able to receive accelerated offers once they have progressed through the connection offer process.

Last month a solar farm near Bridgwater in Somerset became the first project to be energised 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 significantly ahead of its original planned connection date. This initial acceleration has been delivered in the first phase of the Technical Limits programme, with further phases and analysis planned.

Technical Limits, a collaborative project from National Grid Electricity Transmission, Energy Networks Association, the Electricity System Operator and the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) forms part of the ongoing collaborative industry efforts, together with Ofgem and government, to speed up and reform connections to the grid. Scottish Transmission and Distribution network owners have been involved in developing the Technical Limits programme and are in the process of rolling out the programme in their license areas also.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Justin Tomlinson said: “Thanks to a team effort, over 200 clean energy projects will be connected to our grid earlier. It means thousands of homes and businesses will be powered by more renewable energy generated in Britain.”