SSEN Distribution issues call for green recovery projects to unlock network investment

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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution has opened a call for evidence to find ‘shovel-ready’ green projects that can be accelerated by network investment over the next two years.

The UK and Scottish Governments have both committed to a green economic recovery from coronavirus, calling on industry to rise to this challenge. In collaboration with Ofgem and other electricity network companies, SSEN Distribution has drawn up plans to unlock early investment in its networks to support the technologies of tomorrow to be delivered today, driving green jobs and green growth across the north of Scotland and central southern England.

From today, Monday 8 February, SSEN is launching a six week call for evidence in its electricity distribution areas in central southern England and the north of Scotland for local authorities, developers, and other parties to state the case as to why extra network capacity in their locality should be targeted for priority investment. There is a particular interest in evidence about locations where network investment can be made quickly to support shovel-ready developments that underpin the transition to a net-zero carbon emissions economy, in line with Government targets.

There is up to £300m available across Great Britain and tens of millions of pounds for the north of Scotland and central southern England to be allocated to network investment that will enable the delivery of fast-track green developments. Investments generated from this opportunity will be directed to the most efficient projects or those who are able to demonstrate ‘least-regrets’ expenditure, which can make a real difference ahead of our next investment period, RIIO-ED2, which starts in April 2023.

Evidence will be gathered throughout the six-week call period, which closes on 19March, and used to determine which sites and schemes meet the core criteria for accelerated network investment:

  • Utilisation (e.g. how much of the electricity network capacity might be used in the near term)
  • Deliverability (e.g. how quickly infrastructure and solutions could be completed)
  • Value for money (including wider societal benefits that can be achieved)

In addition to the call for evidence on a dedicated website, where interested parties can view detailed information and submit their applications, SSEN Distribution will be holding webinars to assist stakeholders in understanding the eligibility of our projects and how their evidence can make a difference. Details of these webinars and easy enrolment are also available here.

Following the call to evidence process, SSEN Distribution will submit its green recovery investment plans to Ofgem for approval with a final decision to be made in May.

Chris Burchell, Managing Director, SSEN Distribution, said:  

“At SSEN, we are committed to supporting an inclusive economic recovery from coronavirus whilst taking action to accelerate net zero.  By unlocking early network investment where we know it will enable green growth, this scheme will help create jobs, boost local economies and drive further progress toward a zero-carbon world. 

“We look forward to receiving input from stakeholders through the call for evidence process and working in collaboration to help deliver the net zero ambitions of the communities we serve.”

Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said:

“The UK’s energy system is one of the most advanced in the world and through the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and our Energy White Paper, we are ensuring that it is also the greenest so we can eliminate our contribution to climate change. 

“Unlocking investment in the grid is vital to speed up the development of clean, green technologies that cut emissions and create thousands of jobs as we build back greener.” 

Jonathan Brearley, Chief Executive of Ofgem, said:

“With the clock ticking on the UK’s race to hit net zero carbon emissions, we cannot afford to delay in building a clean energy infrastructure that will help power our transport and heat our homes emissions-free.

“We’re urging electricity network companies to come forward with fresh new sites for green investment, starting work quickly, to help kick start the green recovery.”

About the author

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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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