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What does grid capacity and connection mean for local authorities?

27/11/2023

Blog piece from Rachel Donoghue, License Design & Development Manager, SP Energy Networks

We recently joined up with SSEN to give Solace Scotland members a seminar on grid capacity and connection. Local authorities are connection customers and partners in the transition to Net Zero and many local authorities will be looking at renewable generation as part of their economic development and sustainability strategies. As Network Operators, we want to provide as much information as possible and explain how network capacity is being strengthened and how we are improving the connection journey for customers.

Alongside Austen Toone, SSEN, it was a pleasure to help guide local authority Chief Executives and senior managers through our respective network license areas and the ways the electricity network can impact local authorities’ investment strategies.  

The discussion included constructive input on connection queue management, considerations around cost and lead-in times for big renewable energy projects and the benefit of early engagement between local authorities and DNOs, especially at a regional level where possible.

Much of what network operators and local authorities do is closely entwined. Local authorities are tasked with guiding their communities towards decarbonisation and Net Zero and at SP Energy Networks, we’re an enabler of the Net Zero transition with much of transport and heat moving away from fossil fuels and towards electrification.

Making sure that our partners and stakeholders in local authorities have access to the information they need to develop and carry out their plans to ensure the resilience of their communities is vital. This seminar was a great opportunity to share information and equally importantly – get input and answer questions.

Thanks to Cleland Sneddon as Chair of Solace Scotland for giving us this opportunity and wish him all the best as he prepares for retirement. I would also like to welcome Grace Vickers as the new Scotland Chair and Des Murray as Vice Chair and look forward to continuing the constructive engagement in the future.  

Cleland Sneddon:

“It is great to see the proactive engagement from SP Energy Networks and SSEN and their willingness to share their expertise and listen to the insights and experiences of local authorities around Scotland. Partnership between network operators and local authorities is vital to the Net Zero transition.”

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