Earlier this year, NIE Networks consulted on two major issues which could impact on those wishing to connect small scale generation (SSG) to the grid.
Firstly, they consulted on an amendment to the existing distribution connection offer policy for exporting small scale generators with a registered capacity of less than 5MW.
In our response we welcomed the proposals to facilitate additional small scale renewable generation. However, we expressed concern about the availability of export capacity on the network to allow small scale connections. Renewable energy will not be financially viable if there is no availability on the network for export capacity.
The second consultation focused on removing the existing 120% over install limit at a single connection point.
NIE Networks have now issued important guidelines to those who are intending to submit G99/NI generation applications, which will go live at 10am on Tuesday 7 November 2023. This date was set to align these two overlapping consultation processes, to ease the complexity of applications that wish to avail of both changes.
There will be some temporary changes to facilitate the expected volume of applications.
The important point is;
‘On the 7 November 2023, for one day only, the location where applications are to be submitted will change to Maldrona Suite, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 117 Milltown Road, Belfast, BT8 7XP. Any G99/NI applications that are brought either in person to the NIE Office at Danesfort on this date will be re-directed to the Crowne Plaza Hotel to submit their application. Royal Mail post will be accepted however please see the point below in relation to mail delivery.’
- Renewable electricity target
Northern Ireland needs to connect an additional 2-2.5GW of new renewable energy to meet the 80% renewable electricity target. If prompt action is not taken on the challenges mentioned above, this will not be accomplished. To meet our 2030 goals, the facilitation of <5MW connections is crucial, in addition to the non-firm offers for larger projects.
However, if there is no market support, no planning reform, and no reduction in the cost of grid connections, an already challenging goal will become insurmountable.
Guidelines for submitting G99 NI Generation applications – click here to view.