What is a Transmission Entry Capacity (TEC) amnesty?

Decarbonisation, decentralisation and rapid changes in technology mean that faster, more efficient approaches are needed for those wanting to connect to the transmission system.

The current connections process was designed at a time when a small number of large fossil fuel generators were connecting to the transmission network. The growth of the connections queue is leading to delays to connection dates, we are working with stakeholders to improve the connections process for new generation and demand to connect to the transmission network, both in the short and long term.

The TEC amnesty is a process run by the ESO, in partnership with Transmissions Owners (TOs), where we invite all parties with connections agreements listed on the TEC register (e.g. generation developers) to confirm whether they would be willing to terminate their agreement at minimal or no cost, or reduce their TEC.

We have been working closely with Ofgem and the three TO’s, and understand the concerns that stakeholders have raised about the connections queue and the need to implement more effective queue management arrangements. Improving queue management will deliver value to consumers by better optimising the investments required to connect customers, as well as helping deliver Government’s decarbonisation policies.

The TEC amnesty is the first phase in this process along with the queue management CUSC work group (CMP 376) restarting. With this in mind, and ahead of queue management milestones being applied within connection agreements, we ran a TEC amnesty, from September 2022 to April 2023, to allow customers to leave the queue or reduce TEC with no or little cost.

If the code modification CMP376 is approved by Ofgem, then queue management milestones will be applied to all new applications and modification applications received after Ofgem’s decision. The TEC amnesty is an opportunity for customers to leave the queue before these milestones apply.

The TEC amnesty is now closed and 8.2GW of projects applied to terminated contract.

The TEC amnesty window

On 22 September 2022 the ESO (in partnership with the TO’s and Ofgem) launched the first TEC (Transmission Entry Capacity) amnesty since 2013, giving customers the opportunity to terminate or reduce TEC with a reduced or no cost.

Following industry feedback, we extended the expression of interest window, from 30 November 2022 to the end of April 2023, to enable  further progress in the activities listed below as well as help drive our ambition to meet net zero:

  • Completion of HND1 contract update
  • Further progress on the Construction and Planning Assumptions optimisation exercise
  • Completion of interconnector Cap and Floor review
  • CMP376: Introduction of Queue Management milestones to connections contracts
  • Conclusion of latest Capacity Market Auction

This is the first step towards improving the connections process via a number of reforms as set out in our Business Plan 2 ambitions.

Please note, we will adhere to the previous timescales for all applications received prior to the 30 of November 2022 and will continue to review all applications on a rolling monthly basis. This is so customers will not have to wait until July 2023 for a decision to be made if the application is made before April 2023.

Overview of timescales

  • September 2022 - TEC amnesty expression of interest letter released to industry
  • 1 October to 30 April 2023 - TEC amnesty expression of interest window opened
  • 1 May 2023 to 30 June 2023 - Review of submissions
  • 31 July 2023 - We will confirming next steps and communicate with customers

How will I know if my application is successful?

We will get in touch with each customer individually to let them know the outcome for their project. Customers will then be able to choose whether or not to go ahead with the termination/reduction in TEC. Please note if the application is not successful then queue management milestones may be added to your agreement subject to the outcome of CMP376.

How does this link to queue management?

The TEC amnesty is the last opportunity for projects to leave the queue with no or little cost ahead of the queue management milestones coming in place following the code modification which has recently re-started.

Queue management and why it’s needed:

  • Ensuring, network capacity allocated to developers is fully utilised, particularly with the transition to net zero in mind
  • Network investment to facilitate user connections remains economic and efficient, minimising the impact of connections investment on end consumer bills
  • Strong commercial drivers are set so that developers keep their projects on track (in support of the two objectives above)

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