Green Recovery Scheme announced by the ENA

eSmart Networks are a Lloyds registered ‘Independent Connection Provider’ who design and construct grid connections for EV, Renewable Energy and Commercial Connections from Low Voltage up to and including 132kV.

We are the UK experts in all things Grid – our mission is to get your project connected faster than anyone else.

Build Back Better

As part of the Governments drive to ‘Build Back Better’, they have encouraged Ofgem to allow the DNOs to reinforce their networks where it will enable low carbon projects to go ahead, that otherwise would not due to the cost of the reinforcement.

Current Regulations

The current regulations mean that reinforcement costs to enable a customer connection are passed on to that customer using a cost apportionment formula based on the new capacity connected and the customer’s required load.

Example

An EV Network Operator wants to connect a two High Powered 150kW DC chargers to an existing substation, however the existing substation has a 315kVA transformer that needs to be upgraded to 1MVA with associated HV cabling upgrade.

If the transformer and cable upgrade will cost £100k, the EV Network Operator may be required to pay a £50k contribution in addition to the connection costs making the project unviable.

The Scheme

Under the Green Recovery Scheme announced by the ENA last week, Ofgem will allow the GB DNOs (Northern Ireland is under a different regulatory regime) to spend up to £300m on these types of projects, paying the customer element of the reinforcement.

In the example above, the 150kW charging project may get selected and therefore move ahead.

The main points of the scheme: 

  • Applications for specific projects must be made by 18th March 2021
  • Projects should be ‘shovel ready’ – but do not need planning approval in place
  • Projects need to have not started – a connection offer must not have been accepted
  • The funding will cover the reinforcement costs only – not the actual connection costs
  • There must be limited capacity – this can be demonstrated through an existing or prior connection offer

The Process

The process is as follows:

  • Submit applications for specific projects to the DNO by 18th March 2021
  • Submissions will be reviewed, scored & ranked by early May 2021
  • Final shortlist released mid May 2021
  • Grid capacity secured and projects commence

Where we can help

There is a detailed list of criteria for how the projects are assessed. We have already supported our customers in the evaluation of projects against the criteria to prioritise those that will score highly in the process.

Each application is effectively a business case. We are writing these business cases for our customers to maximize the opportunity to get funding. This includes:

  • Evaluating projects against the scheme criteria
  • Putting together detailed applications
  • Documenting the capacity constraints, through connection offers or network modelling
  • Submitting the high-quality application & business case
  • Managing the process, interfaces and ultimately the project construction

We expect this scheme to be oversubscribed and see our job as getting the maximum for our customers, which will help deliver the green infrastructure revolution.

Please get in touch with us today by emailing [email protected] for more information or for help to maximize this opportunity and get more of your low carbon technology projects successfully built.

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