Britain to speed up grid connection for new power projects

By Susanna Twidale

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain announced plans on Wednesday to speed up the process for new electricity projects to be connected to the country’s power grid and to reward communities located near new infrastructure.

Britain has a target to decarbonise its power sector by 2035, which will require many more renewable power plants such as wind and solar and with them the need to be connected to the electricity grid.

Developers have long cited slow grid connections as being one of the most difficult elements of building new power projects.

Reforms to the grid connection process would help to “enable the significant majority of projects to get their requested connection date with no wait and, for viable projects, reduce overall connection delays from five years to no more than six months,” the government said in budget documents published on Wednesday.

It also said those living closest to new transmission infrastructure would be offered up to 10,000 pounds ($12,461) off their electricity bills over 10 years.

“This is a much-needed boost to get Britain back on track as a nation that builds infrastructure the rest of the world can envy,” said Keith Anderson, Chief Executive of power firm Iberdrola’s Scottish Power.

($1 = 0.8025 pounds)

(Reporting By Susanna Twidale; Editing by Frances Kerry)