UK Power Networks portal shares energy capacity data 

The country’s largest electricity distributor releases data to aid customers such as renewable energy developers make more informed decisions.  

As we’ve reported before, those working on projects to generate renewable energy from sources such as wind and solar can face long delays in connecting to the grid – sometimes even up to 10 years. Industry regulator Ofgem has announced new rules to speed up connections for viable projects, while ensuring that so-called ‘zombie projects’, which have stalled and hold up the queue, are shunted out of the way to allow others to proceed. But more can be done to ease and speed up the process. 

a high voltage power line against a cloudy sky

Photo by Rose Galloway Green

One way to make progress is to give those developing renewable energy projects a better understanding of capacity at the interface with the national transmission network. That is precisely the information that will now be hosted on UK Power Networks’ Open Data Portal. 

UK Power Networks serves some 20m people in 8.5m homes and businesses across London, the south-east and east of England. It owns and operates the cables and substations that connect them to the national grid and deliver the electricity they depend on. 

Developers and other connections-related customers will now be able to see how much spare capacity is available at any grid supply point (GSP) in the company’s system. The data portal will also provide details of the projects already in the queue for connection. In addition, it will let customers know if and when fast-track and flexible connections are available. 

It’s hoped that with access to such data, those developing energy initiatives can make better informed decisions on matters such as when and where to site new projects. The data will also be useful to those working on tech such as second life electric batteries – which can be used to store energy when the grid is over capacity. Greater transparency and an integrated view should aid the whole connections process. 

Matt White, Head of Network Strategy at UK Power Networks’ Distribution System Operator, says: ‘Customers have called on us to de-mystify the available capacity at the interface with the transmission network and their place in the queue to access it. This is what we’re delivering, putting new datasets based on customer needs on our Open Data Portal. It will drive more targeted and efficient connections decisions for our customers.’ 

Peter Clutton-Brock, CEO of energy tech company Yottar, adds: ‘UK Power Networks has made an important first step in opening up information on grid connection queues. Putting more data out in the public domain will help developers and services like Yottar identify and select sites where they can connect sooner and at lower cost.’ 

In related news:

Real-time view of England’s motorways and A roads 

£2m for local transport decarbonisation projects

38 social housing homes in Newark and Sherwood get solar panels 


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