National Grid Deeside Supergrid
Technical Limits Programme brings forward grid connection dates for over 200 green projects. Image: National Grid

A programme led by National Grid Electricity Transmission called ‘Technical Limits’ has brought forward the grid connection offer dates of over 200 clean energy projects, including solar and storage.

Networks have sent offers to 203 projects totalling 7.8GW of capacity, more than double the output of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, with an average connection acceleration of 6.5 years.

393 projects are eligible for the programme in total, and a further 190 can receive accelerated offers once they have progressed through the connection offer process.

In March 2024, Reading-based renewables company Enviromena launched the Horsey Levels solar farm in Somerset, the first project from National Grid’s acceleration scheme to be commissioned.

Technical Limits is a collaborative project between the National Grid Electricity Transmission, the Energy Networks Association, the Electricity System Operator (ESO), and the DNOs to help accelerate and reform grid connections.

To deliver the accelerated offers, engineers from National Grid and DNOs carried out detailed analyses of power flows across the boundaries between the transmission and distribution networks.

By agreeing to new power flow limits, DNOs have been able to offer selected projects an accelerated connection date before transmission network reinforcements are complete, on the agreement that the DNO can limit flows from the project under certain operating conditions. 

The 203 connection offers issued in the first phase have an average export curtailment of 22% per year and these interim arrangements will be replaced as network capacity increases.

Alice Delahunty, president of National Grid Electricity Transmission, said: “Connecting projects to our transmission network and unlocking capacity at lower voltage distribution networks is a massive priority for us.

“The Technical Limits programme is a fantastic example of cross-industry collaboration. This team effort has delivered an innovative solution to connect schemes more quickly. We are pleased to see the first project connect earlier than expected and look forward to many more.”

This article first appeared on Solar Power Portal’s sister publication Current±.