It was with a sense of intrigue and fascination that the term “shared grid connection” popped up in discussions that we had with clients and developers some time ago now. With growing pressure on DNOs to connect projects and meet connection dates, the closure of subsidy regimes, and availability of capacity at a premium, a number of clients and developers across the UK started to look beyond the traditional grid connection arrangements to ensure that projects could be connected to the grid more quickly and efficiently. Attention therefore turned to the potential of using shared grid connection arrangements for developers to have their projects connected and energised.
A number of the issues highlighted remain live issues for developers – the grid infrastructure in the UK still faces problems with availability of capacity, and significant reinforcement works required. Now, particularly in light of the growth of energy storage possibilities, co-location of renewable technologies, and developers seeking to drive down costs in a subsidy free environment, grid sharing agreements remain a hot topic in the industry since we first looked at them several years ago.
Although not without challenges, shared grid connection arrangements provide a number of opportunities for developers to reduce costs and ensure that projects are commissioned.