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UK to share wind power grid costs between network users

UK: The UK government has followed the advice of its wind industry and decided that the costs of its grid access reforms should be shared between all users of the electricity network.

A wind farm in South Ayrshire, Scotland. The bulk of UK projects waiting to be connected are in the country
A wind farm in South Ayrshire, Scotland. The bulk of UK projects waiting to be connected are in the country

The reforms aim to tackle a queue of 73GW in potential generation—much of it in Scotland—waiting connect to Britain’s electricity network, with connection dates stretching as far as 2025.

The new connect and manage approach, due to go live in June 2010, will allow new generators to hook up to the network in advance of planned transmission reinforcements being built; at times of network congestion, the system operator will constrain generation.

In August 2009 the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) launched a consultation to determine who should bear the constraint costs and commissioned an analysis of different options by consultants Redpoint.

The DECC now concludes that "socialising" the costs across all network users rather than new generators will best meet the UK’s renewable goals.

The slight reduction in costs under the alternatives is not large enough to justify a more complex model, which in any case may not meet its objectives it said. 

An interim version of connect and manage was approved by the regulator last year as a temporary measure to advance 450MW shovel ready projects in Scotland to the top of the queue for connections.

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