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Faster and cheaper flexible connections offered to East Anglian electricity generators

A flexible connections service from UK Power Networks that connects renewable energy to the electricity network faster and cheaper has been extended across East Anglia.

From Press releases - 7 February 2017 12:00 AM

Faster and cheaper flexible connections offered to East Anglian electric....jpg

Electricity generators, such as frequency response operators1, solar farms and wind farms across parts of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Essex can request ‘flexible’ connections to the electricity network. 

Instead of exporting electricity continuously via a constant electricity connection, electricity generators can pay less for a flexible, interruptible service. The Flexible Distributed Generation service can significantly reduce customers’ connection costs by maximising the amount of electricity they export without them having to fund the installation of new cabling and substations to enable their connection. Active Network Management technology automatically manages the electricity generators’ output, so power flows into the local electricity network in a controlled way.

Over 20 generation sites have been connected to UK Power Networks’ distribution network using this flexible method of connection during trials, saving developers of commercial electricity generation sites a share in over £70 million on standard connection costs.

Expanding the service will enable UK Power Networks to build on its track record of supporting low carbon electricity generators as part of the country’s transition to a low carbon future. UK Power Networks has already connected 8.53 gigawatts of distributed generation to its networks, enough to power 3.4 million homes.

Ed Cowdery, Chief Executive of Encor Power plc, a developer of renewable energy, battery storage and frequency response services, said: “The permanent opening of flexible connections is a welcome opportunity to connect more generation and storage services, optimising network usage opportunities, and resulting in beneficial cost reductions. UK Power Networks has remained receptive to these applications and has been supportive in ensuring connection offers are received in an efficient and helpful manner. We look forward to continuing this working relationship to help secure the UK's electricity supply capability.”

Mark Adolphus, Director of Connections at UK Power Networks, said: “We developed a flexible connections service to help solar and wind farms connect to our networks quicker and cheaper, reducing their connection costs and supporting carbon reduction targets.

“I am delighted we are extending our service to benefit the operators of more electricity generation and potentially energy storage plants. We continue to look at new and innovative ways to make connections quicker and more efficient for this key business sector.”

1 National Grid use Frequency response to stabilise the frequency of the network, which is essentially balancing the supply and demand for electricity across the country.

Electricity generators who are interested in connecting to UK Power Networks’ electricity network using a flexible connection can find our more by visiting the website here.