UK Power Networks has launched a new fast-track application process for connecting small-scale electricity storage projects.
The Fast Track online process, which in the past took the form of a paper application form, aims to help domestic and commercial customers in London and the South East save time and money. The process will take applicants through a series of questions around the size of the potential installation. It will also assess whether it fits with other technologies and whether the export can be limited to a maximum of 16A per phase.
This also includes prosumers who generate electricity from solar panels or wind turbines and who aim to install batteries in their homes or businesses.
Depending on the characteristics of the proposed installation, UK Power Networks (UKPN) will judge whether it is eligible for the G59 Fast Track process. Further guidance is provided to outline the expectations of the installer depending on the proposed commissioning date of the install, which can range from a single domestic system to multiple installs across commercial premises.
The time for approval to connect the systems is will be reduced from up to 45 days to just a few minutes. In some instances, businesses can also avoid fees imposed for witness testing.
News of the fast-tracking process follows the government’s launch of the first stage of a £246m investment into battery technology and plans to encourage householders and businesses to generate, store and use their own energy.
Barry Hatton, Director of Asset Management at UKPN said in a statement: “UK Power Networks is embracing the future of energy distribution and generation and this move underlines our commitment to listening to our customers and delivering practical solutions.
“Small-scale electricity storage in people’s homes and businesses is predicted to grow in the coming years and we have taken another step to facilitate it by making it quicker and easier to connect to our network.”
UKPN recently announced plans to switch from its current role as a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to becoming a Distribution System Operator (DSO)- a move which will see the company concentrate more on distributed generation and a “two-way flow of power”.
The company is also part of the Open Networks Project which is led by the Energy Networks Association and is a major initiative aimed at redefining how energy networks will operate in the future.