All Energy is fast approaching. At this time of the year we seek to write a number of papers addressing topic

al issues of the day, to help stimulate discussions on the floor of the conference. Our first paper this year, authored by Sarah-Jane McArthur, is on the topic of grid constraint and overcoming the hurdles.

Constrained grid is an issue for many new renewables developments. A quick look at the distribution heat maps published by SHEPD and SPEN presents a primarily crimson picture and that's before you've checked the corresponding transmission capacity.And it isn't just a Scottish problem.There are other grid constrained areas across the UK, most notably in the South West. Unless you can build a project close to a major centre of population (or perhaps on a recently closed coal plant), obtaining a grid connection will likely require significant and expensive grid reinforcement work and there may be a long wait to get connected. As most renewables projects are located where they will generate the most electricity, they tend to be remote from population centres. However, there are now a range of emerging tools to help facilitate the connection of renewables projects affected by a congested grid, earlier than would have been possible in the past. Possible options include:

  • Install a private wire connection to nearby demand.
  • Share a grid connection with a neighbouring project
  • Sign up for a grid connection subject to active network management.
  • Install storage alongside a project.

Our paper looks at these options and considers some of the advantages as well as some of the things to look out for. We hope you find it interesting and thought provoking.