Gordon MP Richard Thomson has raised concerns with the UK Government that constraints on the national grid limiting are significantly limiting investment and growth of renewables.
The SNP MP wrote to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy urging Ministers to ensure that the energy transmission companies have a robust plan in place for increasing connectivity as the country strives to meet our climate obligations.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“Here in the North-east we’ve seen the challenge of playing our part in the expansion of renewables and the opportunities that brings being enthusiastically taken-up over the past two decades.
“However, capacity on the transmission network can be an issue. We’ve seen welcome investments from SSEN over recent years in new sub-stations and transmission facilities at Kintore, Rothienorman and Keith which has and will greatly enhance capacity and resilience. But we need to ensure that no part of the country is left behind.
“I therefore wrote to the UK Government, which has responsibility for the grid network, to raise these concerns and I am pleased that in her response the Minister has recognised the problem and action is planned. The action needs to be swift if we are to ensure that Scotland, and the North-east in particular, is not left behind in the new drive for renewable energy.”
In a response to Mr Thomson, Minister of State Nusrat Ghani MP said:
“The [UK] Government is aware of lengthy connection timescales currently being offered in parts of the country, including where distribution network connections impact on the transmission network. We are working closely with Ofgem and the network companies to release network capacity and so accelerate connections.
“A programme of work led by the Electricity System Operator (ESO) and Energy Networks Association is underway, with the distribution and transmission network companies working collaboratively. Actions include revising assumptions used by network companies when assessing the impact of new connections on their networks, improved connection queue management and more efficient connection processes.”