Generation Consultation 

With network capacity exhausted and the absence of additional energy policy drivers that might permit an economic case to be made by NIE Networks or SONI for future network investment, SONI and NIE Networks have asked for input from industry on a way forward for generation connections through the Call For Evidence issued on the 12 October 2017 and thConsultation on Connecting Further Generation in Northern Ireland (published on 31 January 2018).

Sections 5.2 to 5.4 of the above consultation addressed ‘Distribution Imminent Process Changes and Introduction of Milestones’ which were relevant only to NIE Networks. These sections detailed the changes to queuing principles and presented a number of questions to stakeholders on the potential introduction of milestones to Distribution offer of terms for connection, for a Generating Unit. 

Following the responses received from stakeholders to the consultation and stakeholder input received at the NIE Networks Milestone Workshop held on 20th February, NIE Networks has now published the Decision Paper on Distribution Generation Process Change and Introduction of Milestones. This paper outlines the responses received from stakeholders in relation to these more immediate matters outlined in Section 5.2 to 5.4 and the rationale for NIE Networks’ final decision regarding the milestones which will be introduced into any Distribution offer of terms for connection, of a Generating Unit, issued after the 18th of May 2018.

The updated approach is formalised within the Distribution Generation Application and Offer Process Statement and all applicant’s seeking to connect a Generating Unit, other than microgeneration, should read this Statement for information on the Distribution Generation Application and Offer Process.

The remaining sections of the consultation paper have been addressed through the join NIE Networks & SONI Consultation Next Steps Paper (published 29 June 2018). The next steps paper proposes the formation of a Connections Innovation Working Group to tackle the complex challenges now faced in order to find solutions that would allow the further connection of generation that are technically and commercially viable for both network operators and generators.
NIE Networks and SONI made a call for expressions of interest from stakeholders to join the working group between 27 July - 17 August. Successful applicants have been notified and the Connections Innovation kickoff meeting is currently being arranged. Please sign up to the mailing list below if you wish to be kept up to date on these matters via e-mail.

Joint Statement regarding Transmission Assessment for Distribution DER Applicants

On the 31 of January 2018, NIE Networks and SONI published a Joint consultation paper on “Connecting Further Generation in Northern Ireland”.  

A “Phase 1 close out report” was included in Appendix 1 of this document which provided a nodal transmission assessment showing nodes with no remaining capacity or potential limited capacity.

This assessment was based on the uptake of all generation within the queue at that time at both Transmission and Distribution Level.  Since this “Phase 1 Close out report” was published, NIE Networks and SONI have both;

  • had connection applications withdrawn
  • issued a number of offers not all of which have been accepted
  • and have received additional connection applications

For the reasons highlighted above the “Phase 1 Close out report” may not reflect the current capacity availability and, potentially, some limited transmission capacity without the need for further transmission reinforcement may still be available at certain nodes within the East of Northern Ireland.

Click here for an update on cluster capacity.

For further information on this applicants should contact NIE Networks (connectiondesign@nienetworks.co.uk).

Timeline of Related Documentation

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