United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Proposals for reducing cost of grid connection in Scotland

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Proposals for reducing the cost of grid connection in the north of Scotland, which are expected to benefit wind generators, have been unveiled by regulator Ofgem. Under the existing connection policy, new generators connecting to the Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Limited (SHETL) system, are charged for any extra upgrading needed to bring more electricity on to the system, on top of the initial cost of connection -- known as "deep" charges. Under Ofgem's proposals, new generators will only incur "shallow" charges -- for the cost of connecting to the transmission network. Any system upgrade costs resulting from the new connection will be passed to all new generators on the SHETL network through use-of-system charges. According to Ofgem's Charles Coulthard, SHETL's connection policy makes it expensive for new generators to connect to the transmission system, particularly in more remote areas. "This can be particularly difficult for renewable generators, such as wind, who locate themselves in the north of Scotland," he says. "We think that connection charges to all transmission networks, whether in gas or electricity, should be shallow -- so new generators will be only charged for the cost of connection. This should make it easier for new entrants in the market to compete." Ofgem consulted briefly on its proposals during March.

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