Grid connection and utility scale renewable energy/energy storage systems

20kV lines at a possible solar farm site20kV lines at a possible solar farm site

Grid connection is one of the greatest challenges for renewable energy and novel demand projects in the UK. Large areas of the UK distribution network are now saturated with Distributed Generation, and some Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are now struggling to connect all types and levels of generation, without charging significant amounts for both the quotation and connection works. Decerna has a well-respected reputation for providing independent advice on a range of renewable and grid related topics, having worked with large multi-nationals, local authorities, SMEs and district councils, amongst others.

Technical support and negotiations

Decerna grid work is led by two former DNO design engineers who work closely with Distribution Network Operators throughout England, Scotland & Wales to ensure that our clients get the best possible grid connection for their renewable energy/storage systems. Specialities include connecting solar farms, wind farms and grid scale batteries to the grid.

In order to reduce both time and expense for our clients we offer a site finding service, in which we search specific regions to find potential points of connection for new renewable energy/storage installations. Should you already have a site in mind we can make an EREC G99 application on your behalf, in accordance with ENA (Energy Network Association) guidance, to the relevant DNO or Transmission Network operator. Alternatively, we can provide ‘Stop – Go assessments’ for all types of demand and generation projects. We can also negotiate the best option for both the client and the Distribution Network Operator, considering all financial and technical options. Additionally, we offer EREC G99 training, as well as familiarisation workshops to aid understanding of the UK electricity network.

Besides locating points of connection, we can calculate the yield and predict the output of your photovoltaic (PV) system, advise on multiple types of energy storage systems and explain the plethora of incomes available, such as PPAs and sleeving arrangements, and if you prefer. We can speak with providers on your behalf and identify the economic development opportunities available for you.

If required, we can take a site through to the point of being spade ready, with G99 applications and planning approval, and facilitate the procurement process for ICPs and other contractors. We can also act as an owners engineer to monitor site works, and act as an on call consultant.

In addition to identifying points of connection for generation, we can also locate areas with strong networks, capable of supporting the high demand required for new infrastructure, such as electric vehicle charging stations.

We also consult on new technologies to ease grid connection, including smart grid technologies and energy storage. We can advise on new off-the-shelf technologies, and work with our partners on R&D for new grid technologies.

We can assist in locating the most suitable ICP (Independent Connection Provider) or IDNO (Independent Distribution Network Operator) to carry out the contestable element of your connection or we can offer a ‘turnkey’ service whereby we will arrange to have your connection carried out in full with minimal input from the customer.

Policy and advice

We ensure that as a company, NDE is fully up to date with all relevant policy, legislation and engineering recommendations in terms of utility scale renewables and energy storage systems. This includes a watching brief on the developments for COP26, the constant updates of EREC G99, planning regulations, Ofgem rules, grid balancing services, and the ever changing planning policy framework across England, Scotland and Wales.

Previous and current projects

  • Identified and secured points of connection for 50MW battery systems in England & Scotland, completed the EREC G99 application processes, and constantly worked with the local DNOs, to produce spade ready sites
  • Techno-economic energy study on a local authority depot for a major north east county council
  • EREC G99 applications for multiple solar farms, from small roof mounted systems, to 42MW solar farms.
  • Product development support for low carbon grid infrastructure
  • Provided advice on all aspects of electricity networks, including earthing and overhead lines to SMEs looking to expand their market presence.
  • Provided EREC G99 workshops and follow up support to 27 SMEs as part of the ERDF EGRID project.
  • Provided EREC G99 training to members of the Solar Trade Association in London
  • Worked closely with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Energy Systems Catapult on several grid related projects, as well as providing on going advice and guidance.
  • Successful application and offer of 4MVA connection in County Durham
  • Successful application and offer of 8MVA connection in Northumberland
  • Training of multiple employees from both large and small companies from around the UK at locations in Northumberland and London on the G99 application process and how to ensure a safe and compliant connection
  • Training of engineers in Delhi, delivered two courses covering solar farm site surveys and project management.
  • Solar farm design and grid assessment for a community based project
  • EREC G99 compliance for a novel grid scale battery technology
  • Trusted source of independent knowledge for nearly all north east councils
  • Provided outline plans and technical feasibility for the replacement of an 11kV electrical network, with 100% renewable energy, for a remote off-shore island
  • Provided technical training to all of the Network Design engineers and their management on renewable electricity generation technologies to one of the UK’s largest DNO organisations
  • Act as solar developer client technical expert on grid connections, representing them in strategic discussions with DNOs and providing grid capacity intelligence to assist in their new business development strategies
  • Working with Planning Experts to identify suitable sites for PV deployment based on grid capacity intelligence studies
  • Identifying locations for 50MW Grid Scale batteries for local authorities
  • 1MW Battery connected to a wind farm
  • Budget enquiries and full grid connection applications for battery systems between 10MW and 200MW