National Grid have been succesful in winning Ofgem funding to research how to “minimise the cost and time of connections to the National Transmission System (NTS), with particular focus on unconventional gas connections”. The £5m project, called “Project CLoCC – Customer Low Cost Connections”, will achieve this by “fundamentally challenging every aspect of the connection process, building on worldwide ‘best in class’ technology and practice.”.
It currently takes up to three years for a biomethane producer to connect to the high pressure NTS and and costs ~£2m.
The aim is for the connection time to be brought down to one year and cost under £1m. The solution will involve field trials of the engineering solution chosen. The whole project bid can be found here.
This is the process biomethane producers and other gas producers seeking to connect to the NTS have to follow, with the associated costs:
This National Grid funded project will hopefully improve on this current process. It may even transform the economics of the biomethane sector, allowing more choice in location for biomethane projects and reducing the cost of connecting.
We invited National Grid to come and talk about the project at our Research and Innovation Forum and we're delighted that they have accepted, and will be speaking on 6 April on the subject at the event at York University. All the details of the event can be found here.