We’re fundamentally reforming the connections process to make it fit for the future.
We recognise the challenges around connections and the application process. As a result, we have launched our five-point-plan of tactical initiatives to help improve the connections process in the short-term.
1: TEC amnesty
Allowing customers to leave our queue without incurring penalties for doing so. This amnesty closed in April 2023 and received over 8GW of interest – alleviating pressures within the pipeline of projects. We are currently working on the costs with Ofgem and will soon be updating contracts.
2: Background modelling assumptions
We are updating how we calculate project connection dates. This action has been completed and we are working with GB’s Transmission Owners to review and update existing contracts with these new Construction Planning Assumptions (CPAs).
Batteries and other energy storage technologies soak up energy generation when connected to the grid as well as releasing it back onto the grid. As this technology has a dual purpose, we have changed how we calculate their impact on the system.
4: Contract terms
We are developing new contractual terms for connection contracts to manage the queue more efficiently, so those projects that are progressing can connect and those that are not can leave the queue. The proposals have now been consulted on and the final report to Ofgem will be submitted on 7 June.
5: Interim offer for BESS
And finally, we will be enabling energy storage projects to connect to the grid more quickly. This will speed up connections for up to 95GW of energy storage projects in the pipeline to ensure system security, they may be instructed to reduce their output, however, only on very rare occasions.
To begin rolling out the new CPA and battery modelling assumptions across GB, we need to work with Transmission Owners (TO) who will adopt different strategies to carry out a review of existing contracted connections.
From 1 March, in England and Wales, we’ll be implementing a new two-step process. This will reduce uncertainty for developers in the long-term and will apply our new background modelling and battery assumptions. In Scotland, these changes will be applied without the need to implement a new two-step process (using the current process in place today).
Read more about the two-step offer process
Transmission Reinforcement Works (TRW) review
The new methodologies to improve background Construction Planning Assumptions (CPAs) and the modelling of BESS projects over the last 12 months have been agreed by all three TOs and will be used for both existing contracted projects and new connection applications, thereby ensuring consistency across the country.
However, to implement these changes, a complete system review of the GB Transmission Reinforcement Works (TRW) for all contracted offers with a connection date post 1 January 2026 is urgently needed.
This review will rationalise the TRW required for the contracted parties and also identify any options for BESS parties to connect earlier but with interim restrictions.
We anticipate that after the review has been completed, that some contracted parties within the GB transmission system queue with connections dates could have their connection date moved forward.
To address these issues in the longer term, we have launched the connections reform project to address these challenges and put our customers and stakeholders at the heart of this change.