Connections to the electricity network will be awarded to projects that can be built the soonest, under reforms designed to prevent “zombie” projects blocking access to the grid.

National Grid’s electricity system operator (ESO), which is responsible for administering grid connections, said the new “first ready, first connected” process would replace the existing “first come, first served” system from the start of 2025.

The Times reports that the plans are the latest effort to speed up the inefficient system, which is leaving proposed new power plants such as wind and solar farms facing waiting times of up to 15 years to secure connections to the network.

The queue for grid connections contains hundreds of projects that could generate almost 400 gigawatts of electricity — more than twice as much as is forecast to be needed to meet the government’s goal of decarbonising the power system by 2035.

However, many are the result of speculative applications or stalled developments; up to 70% of projects in the queue do not materialise.

The new system is designed to overhaul the way connections are awarded and to support “projects that can deliver at speed”.

It would “provide the greatest opportunity for earlier connection dates for generation and demand projects across Great Britain” and “lead to more efficient and coordinated future planning of the network, thereby delivering savings to project developers and consumers”, the ESO said.

Julian Leslie, ESO head of networks, said: “Our new reformed process will prioritise the connection of viable projects, reduce times to connect for new and existing projects, deliver greater benefits for consumers and speed up the delivery of the energy mix required to meet net zero.

“These longer-term reforms will align with wider government and regulatory policy, and ensure the connections process is flexible and future-proofed to support the future coordination of network design.”

FTSE 100

The UK's flagship share index, the FTSE100, was up 10-points at 7,499 shortly after opening this morning.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures were up 0.23% at $77.38 a barrel this morning.

Companies reporting today

  • Baltic Classifieds Group - Half year results
  • Paragon Banking Group - Full year results
  • Redde Northgate - Half year results
  • TUI - Q4 results

More like this…

View all