6 Mar 2002 – UK power and gas regulator Ofgem today published its proposals for improving access to Scottish electricity transmission network for new generators. Ofgem recommends dropping charges relating to grid enhancements, which have proved expensive for remote generators.
The Ofgem consultation document looks at changes to the way that new generators are charged for connection to the Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Limited (SHETL) system in the north of Scotland. Under the existing connection policy a new generator is charged for the extra upgrading of the system needed to bring more electricity on to the system, on top of the initial cost of connection – known as ‘deep’ charges.
Under Ofgem’s proposals new generators will only be charged for the cost of connecting to the transmission network. These are known as ‘shallow’ charges. Any costs associated with system upgrade as a result of the new connection would be passed to all new generators on the SHETL network through transmission use of system charges.
Ofgem’s Managing Director of Scotland, Charles Coulthard said, “The current connection policy of SHETL makes it difficult and expensive for new generators to connect to the transmission system, particularly in more remote areas. This can be particularly difficult for renewable generators, such as wind who locate themselves in the north of Scotland.”
Ofgem now believes that connection charges for both gas and electricity should be shallow in order to encourage new entrants and enhance competition. Its new proposals also mean that generators get firm rights of access to the transmission network. They propose compensation for any interruption of these rights by the transmission system operator.
A final proposal document is available on the Ofgem website at https://ofgem.gov.uk/public/pub2002.htm