Interconnection

Editor's picks

Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have published an open letter announcing the next steps in their joint review of the offshore transmission regime. The review will be split into three main workstreams covering “early opportunities”, the “pathway to 2030” and the “enduring regime”, as well as a fourth cross-cutting workstream on multi-purpose interconnectors.
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Ofgem has granted a request by National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) to delay its implementation of the Trans European Replacement Reserves Exchange (TERRE) until the beginning of next year. In approving the new timeline, Ofgem warned ESO it needed to improve communication with stakeholders and quickly come up with an implementation plan.
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A government minister has said a National Grid-backed project to build the world’s longest sub-sea interconnector between Iceland and the UK faces difficulties which will be “extremely difficult” to overcome.
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Featured

The energy system is evolving, both in how the system is used and in the expectations of those using it. Moreover, the pace of change is accelerating. Together, these trends are shedding light on the importance of grid reliability.
Opinion
Ofgem’s Decarbonisation Action Plan recognises that net zero requires a more holistic regulatory approach – and that it is crucial the costs and benefits of these initiatives fall fairly between different groups of consumers. Sustainability First's Sharon Darcy gives her view.
Opinion
With the UK now just hours away from departing the EU, Utility Week explores what this means for the utilities sector. How will energy collaboration with Europe proceed, and what does this mean for decarbonisation of the grid? Will there be an impact on the efficiency of interconnectors? Will the UK continue to trade in the EU Emissions Trading System? David Blackman discusses these and other issues.
Analysis

Latest in Interconnection

The electricity system operator (ESO) at National Grid has highlighted the importance of flexibility to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 in latest of its annual Future Energy Scenarios. The ESO said the three of its four scenarios that align with the target all require significant growth in flexibility both on the demand and supply sides.
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National Grid Electricity System Operator has been urged to develop a separate set of Capacity Market de-rating factors for embedded generators to reflect their distinct characteristics when compared to larger power stations. Meanwhile, energy and clean growth Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed the parameters for the next set of auctions.
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Construction has begun on what will become the world’s longest electricity interconnector once completed in 2023. The 1.4GW Viking Link interconnector will stretch 765 kilometres from the UK to Denmark, passing between Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire and Revsing in South Jutland.
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Ofgem has approved a request by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) to continue operating a national testing facility for high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) technologies over RIIO2. The National HVDC Centre was created through a joint innovation project led by SSEN, which also involved National Grid and SP Energy Networks.
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The government has rejected an accusation that increased use of interconnectors would bind the UK into EU attempts to create a “comprehensive” European energy market post-Brexit, as MPs passed new rules to amend the Capacity Market.
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National Grid has secured a green loan worth $743 million (£590 million) to help pay for the construction of the 1.4GW Viking Link interconnector between the UK and Denmark. The €2 billion subsea cable - a joint venture between National Grid and the Danish system operator Energinet – is being installed to enable the direct trade of surplus renewable electricity between the two countries.
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Ofgem has made a final decision on a series of variations to the cap and floor regime requested by the developers of the Greenlink and NeuConnect interconnectors to Ireland and Germany. To help them service their debts, the regulator has approved a request for consumers to continue to top up their revenues to the floor if the interconnectors fail to meet their 80 per cent minimum availability target, on the condition that this money is later repaid.
News
This #AskUsAnything webinar - now available to view on demand - focussed on how energy networks have fared during the pandemic and what the new normal will look like for them. A panel of experts, including UK Power Networks chief executive Basil Scarsella, Electricity North West chief executive Peter Emery and the ENA's Ross Easton, gave their thoughts on questions posed by Utility Week members.
Webinars
Ofgem has overruled the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) panel to end the liability of interconnectors to pay a segment of BSC charges referred to as funding shares. The regulator said they are not compliant with an EU regulation from 2010 preventing interconnectors from being subject to network access charges.
News
Efforts to ensure the continued growth of the North Sea’s booming offshore wind industry will be on the agenda as the UK kicks off negotiations with the EU on a future trade agreement, the government has confirmed. A newly published document sets out the government’s position on energy trading over the interconnectors between the UK and the EU, carbon pricing, and climate change.
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The government’s infrastructure advisor has told ministers that ensuring there are “no barriers” to future interconnector projects should be prioritised as the UK exits the EU. In its Annual Monitoring Report, the National Infrastructure Commission says the UK is displaying “ongoing successes” - pointing to the development of a flexible, highly renewable energy system.
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Current policies and regulations will not be sufficient to attract the hundreds of billions of pounds of investment required to decarbonise the UK's energy system, industry figures have warned. Speaking at an event held by Energy UK in London, they said significant changes will be needed if the country is to fulfil its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
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