National Grid ESO - WindCare engineer

Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme WindCare case study

Window 5 of the Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme is now open.

Colin Lockwood, Senior Project Engineer, WindCare Ltd explains how they successfully worked with UK DNOs to complete an estimated 200 ALoMCP upgrades across wind, solar, AD/CHP and batteries, as well as its day-to-day wind turbine & HV transformer O&M, civil engineering and HV/LV electrical installations.

Many energy generators need to make a mandatory system change to their assets by 2022. The Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme (ALoMCP) is a funding scheme that helps generators to make this change. Colin explains how they've supported hundreds through the application process.

What is loss of mains change all about and what does it mean for generators?

Ultimately, this is a mandatory requirement that all generators connected to the electricity network have to make to be compliant by 2022 and the funding is available to make the change.

The change itself requires generators to relax the settings on the relays that connect their assets to the electricity network, which will make generators less sensitive to any network disturbances.

The Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme has been designed to help prevent power outages by protecting generators from any disturbances that occur on the electricity network, and likewise protect the network from any problems that may occur to generators.

Who needs to make the change?

This change applies to all non-domestic generators installed before 2018. The agriculture sector is particularly important because most farmers are generating electricity as an alternative income stream. The manufacturing industry, hospitals and schools may also generate electricity. The problem is identifying the right person to speak to about their assets. Once we find the right person though, the process is simple.

The other issue is time. Farmers, schools and hospital managers do not have the time to worry about their generators – they have their businesses to run, children to teach and lives to save so getting them to engage with the message about ALoMCP can be tricky.

“There’s no reason to wait – the funding is available now, but it won’t last forever. Get in touch with your DNO or service provider and get it done.”

What does the funding cover and is it easy to apply?

In the vast majority of cases, the ALoMCP funding covers all costs of the works and working with the DNOs on this scheme is quite simple. While there were some initial teething problems, we are now all aligned and well versed in the application process for each DNO. The process couldn’t be more straightforward.

How are you helping generators apply and make the change?

We understand that from the perspective of a small independent generator, Loss of Mains can seem overwhelming and the information regarding relevant regulations and technical jargon can be complex.

This is where we can help. As a company, WindCare has successfully completed over 200 ALoMCP upgrades at different sites in the UK. We have come across a lot of different sites, setups and relay types – all of which need their own tailored set of works, and we have worked with multiple DNOs to apply for funding to make the required change, at no cost to the owners – assessing the assets, applying for the funding, making the change and providing the customer with information throughout.

For us, the process is relatively simple. We want to ensure all generators are compliant by 2022 and will support all who get in touch to make the change.

What advice would you offer generators about the ALoMCP?

If you are a generator owner then you have to do this. If you don’t there may be enforcement consequences after 2022. There’s no reason to wait – the funding is available now, but it won’t last forever. Get in touch with your DNO or service provider and get it done.

Visit our Accelerated Loss of Mains page to find out more.