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SUPPORT SERvICES GRID SOLUTIONS


The growth of distributed generation is rapidly filling up the existing grid. A generation capacity map produced by UK Power Networks, the network operator for East Anglia, shows a swathe of red – close to full - everywhere north and east of Bishops Stortford. It is therefore vital that developers consider their grid connection early in the project life- cycle.


COMMUNICATION


Strong communication with the network operator can help manage grid cost risk. TNEI are supporting a two-turbine wind farm east of London which faces high grid costs. Discussion with the network operator has revealed that a slight reduction in turbine size may reduce grid costs by £2 million. TNEI are also helping the client investigate the possibility of supplying a local industrial load, rather than exporting to the grid.


INNOVATION


Meanwhile, network operators are finding innovative ways to help new projects to connect, in areas that are full according to conventional estimates. One option is ‘alternative connection offers’.


A major UK Power Networks innovation project near Peterborough, ‘Flexible Plug and Play’, has been trialling this approach for the last three years. The generation and the load on the network vary minute by minute, but networks are usually designed for the worst case power flows.


If a generator will agree to stop generating at time periods when the grid is under heavy stress, (i.e. when there is unusually low demand and high generation) then expensive reinforcements to the network can be avoided. This leads to cheaper connections and shorter construction timescales.


ALTERNATIVE CONNECTION OFFERS WPD, the network operator for the East Midlands, is rolling out alternative connection offers across its networks. TNEI recently studied the expected constraints for a medium-sized wind farm in the East Midlands which had received an alternative connection offer.


Analysing existing load data from the area, typical solar profiles and predicted wind profiles, down to each hour of the year, to predict how often the wind farm will be constrained.


INVESTOR CONFIDENCE The results have provided confidence to investors that constraints will occur very rarely. TNEI’s grid, planning and environmental teams can offer a comprehensive service including site finding, feasibility, grid compliance and more.


TNEI


SECTION SPONSOR


38


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


EAST OF ENGLAND SPOTLIGHT ON


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