IrBEA response to CER Review of Connection and Grid Access Policy

The CER invited responses to a Consultation Paper on the Review of Connection and Grid Access Policy. It initiates a review of existing connection policy and requests views on the CER’s proposals for the enduring connection policy regime which will be developed over the course of 2016 and on proposals for transitional arrangements to be decided upon in early 2016. IrBEA asked Tom Bruton/BioXL to lead and coordinate the work in regard to written consultation process. Following feedback from members on a draft IrBEA document, today we submitted the finalised IrBEA response.

In summary:

  • New gate type process targeted to be in place after 30/6/16
  • The level of non-group applications in 2015 has exceeded any prior level, and current rule set is not fit for purpose
  • Shorter fixed-time gates are suggested
  • Your date of application prior to this e.g. to Gate 3 process will probably not matter
  • Likely to encompass all technologies, not just wind, and to go well below current 5MW non-GPA threshold
  • Big question posed about  planning permission prior to grid – not at all straight-forward to implement
  • Emphasis shifts away from 2020 targets and talks about renewables having less significance in connection priority (Gate 3 was mainly renewables driven)
  • Proposes in short term refund on stage 1 payments to DSO/TSO if capacity is surrendered prior to 30/6/16
  • Priority proposed in short term for DS3 applicants
  • Short term measure up to 30/6/16 to allow existing connections to apply for 10% MEC increase, where capacity available