Grid connection—key rules
Produced in partnership with Matthew Collinson of Igloo Energy

The following Energy practice note produced in partnership with Matthew Collinson of Igloo Energy provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Grid connection—key rules
  • What is a grid connection?
  • What is the grid?
  • Where are the rules?
  • What are the rules?
  • 1. Connections to the NETS
  • 2. Connections to distribution systems
  • What is the role of Ofgem in regulating connection terms?

Grid connection—key rules

What is a grid connection?

A grid connection allows a user to connect to the local network or ‘grid’ so they can receive or produce electricity. A connection agreement is key to an ongoing connection and the ability to import or export power from the grid.

Whether a developer building a small housing development or a power company building a nuclear power station, a grid connection is required whenever there is no existing connection in place.

A new connection is usually obtained through a contract for the construction of a grid connection (a construction agreement) and a separate contract will be entered into to govern the connection and the flow of electricity after construction is completed. Where projects are project financed these agreements are usually a condition precedent to financing arrangements given their necessity for the viability of the project.

What is the grid?

What is commonly referred to as 'the grid' is made up of:

  1. the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS)—the high voltage network, which is owned by several ‘transmission owners’ but operated collectively by National Grid Electricity System Operator Limited (NGESO) (see Practice Note: The Split of National Grid’s Transmission Owner (TO) and System Operator (SO) Roles and Licences), and

  2. distribution systems—the mainly low voltage networks operated by distribution network operators (DNOs)

For current purposes, independent distribution network operators (IDNOs) are included as DNOs as

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