We know that the journey to get connected can seem complex, and that you might have queries around the different stages of your connection journey.

To help you better understand what each stage means for you, we have answered a list of frequently asked questions.

Two step offer update: from the 27th of November 2023, full offers will resume. NGET and ESO are currently working together to produce the second step offers for all customers that currently hold a signed step one offer. These will be sent to customers by the end of February 2024.

Researching your connection

What is the role of NGET in my connection?

NGET does not contract directly with the customer. The ESO will contract with us to build the connection and any related works. We will still be in regular touch with you on the progress of your connection, as well as being fundamental to your initial offer through the system studies we conduct. We will also conduct any studies needed if a modification application is made to your connection.

What is the role of the ESO in my connection?

The ESO contracts with you directly as the connecting customer. You will submit your application to the ESO, and they will send it through to NGET for assessment once they have conducted their necessary checks. They will also manage your contract should any changes need to be made. They will have regular contact with both NGET and you to keep track of your connection.

What is a feasibility study?

A feasibility study is a bespoke study that may include a detailed analysis of the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS) to cover all areas such as connection options, infrastructure, construction, project timescales, costs, charging issues, risks, etc. 

Both NGET and ESO offer the chance to conduct feasibility studies on your connection. Visit our costs page to find out more: https://www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/how-to-get-connected/researching-your-connection/how-much-will-it-cost

What is connection capacity?

Your connection capacity will be declared in two forms. The first is your Connection Entry Capacity (CEC), this is the maximum potential output of your asset onto the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS). The second is your Transmission Entry Capacity (TEC). The TEC is the amount you will export onto the NETS as a generator. CEC is often set higher than TEC to allow for changes over years in outputs without needing to adapt or modify infrastructure.

What are the connections registers and why should I use them?

The connection registers will give you an idea of how many current connections exist and at what capacity. There are a variety of connection registers available such as the Transmission Entry Capacity Register and the Interconnector Register on the NGESO website.

We advise that you review the connection register appropriate to your connection type to help inform you of what other connections to the National Electricity Transmission System are currently ongoing. These connection registers could help inform you of where, or when you want to connect.

What are the industry codes?

The industry codes underpin the electricity and gas wholesale and retail markets. Market participants are required to comply with the industry codes in accordance with the conditions of their licence. The National Grid ESO administers four of these codes. They are the CUSCGrid CodeSTC and SQSS.  

For more information on these codes, visit here: https://www.nationalgrideso.com/industry-information/codes/code-changes-beginners-guide

What is the Security and Quality of Supply Standard (SQSS)

The Security and Quality of Supply Standard (SQSS), are the minimum design standard used to plan the transmission system. These standards ensure that any connection or system upgrades are to a high quality, and preserve the safety and reliability of the transmission system.

Understanding your connections project

How long will my connection take?

Your project’s timeline is unique as it is dependent on its location, the design selected, and what other projects are taking place in the area.

Our Connections team consider different factors that can influence how long it takes to connect your project to the transmission network. These include the complexity of the project, the connection site, the availability of outages and resource to do the work, and other contracted customer requirements. When considering your connection date we need to ensure that we can maintain the integrity and resilience of our transmission network and undertake any maintenance or upgrade work required. 

For timelines around certain connections regions, visit our Research Assistant

What is a Customer/User Self Build Agreement?

For the full information on User Self Build Agreements, visit our page here: https://www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/connections/article/user-self-build-agreements

Why are certain substations full?

Certain substations may be full as they cannot be expanded due to physical, geographical or system limitations. For more information on expanding and triggering new substations, visit here: https://www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/connections/article/substation-expansion-and-creation

To find out more about substation capacity, visit our Research Assistant

Which region should I connect in?

We encourage our customers to visit our Research Assistant to get the most up to date information about each connections region in England and Wales. Please take the time to research in depth before progressing with your connection.

How much will my connection cost?

Short term transformations and long term reforms

What is the two step offer?

It has been identified that a new offer product is necessary to enable resource to be dedicated towards a rationalisation of the contracted background. For more information on the measures being taken to improve the connections process, visit this page: https://www.nationalgrideso.com/industry-information/connections/what-are-we-doing-now-our-five-point-plan

From the 1 March 2023, projects began to be provided with an offer in two parts.

The first part of the offer secures the projects place in the TEC queue. The customer can also provide their preferred connection location. However, this location is subject to change according to the application process and will not be firmed up until the second offer is finalised.

The second part of the offer provides the project with full engineering detail, considering any new planning assumptions in terms of grid upgrades and reinforcements, and the change in approach to batteries.. 

From 27 November 2023, any new application will be given a full connection offer (as per the licenced process).

NGET and ESO are currently working together to produce the second step offers for all customers that currently hold a signed step one offer. These will be sent to customers by the end of February 2024, meeting the target set by Ofgem of 1 March 2024.

For more information, visit: https://www.nationalgrideso.com/industry-information/connections/two-step-offer-process

What is the process for pre applications under the two step offer?

During the two-step offer process, we have paused one on one pre-application meetings in England and Wales. This is to enable the focus of crucial resources on the contract optimisation process, which will ensure that customer contracts accurately reflect the current connections landscape. However, since we recognise the value of early touchpoints with our customers, NGET and the ESO are holding a regular series of regional webinars. Each region will be covered once a month, until the end of the two-step offer period.

To express interest in attending these webinars, please submit project details via the Electricity System Operator portal here. This replaces the previous connection pre-application form process. Each customer who submits details for a project will be invited to their next available regional webinar.

What is Queue Management?

National Grid ESO has proposed a change to the industry rules to introduce ‘queue management’. This proposal is now being considered by Ofgem to ultimately decide whether it should be implemented.

National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) has supported the ESO’s development of its proposal, and we strongly advocate for its introduction as soon as possible.

The proposed new way of working will require customers developing projects to meet key milestones at various points of their connection journey. Where these milestones are not met, stalling projects will have to make way for other projects further back in the queue that are ready to proceed.

For more information, visit this page: https://www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/queue-management-next-step-accelerating-grid-connections

What is the TEC amnesty?

Not all the projects in the connection queue are able to proceed with their connection (for example, there may be no prospect of getting planning permission). However, for several reasons, they may not want to leave the queue. One of those reasons is the cost to reduce Transmission Entry Capacity (TEC) or terminate a connection agreement; these are known as cancellation charges. The TEC amnesty looked to temporarily remove this barrier.

It was an opportunity for customers in the connection queue to relinquish some or all of their future TEC that they could not or did not wish to use. The amnesty allowed customers to do this without having to bear some or all of the costs (e.g. cancellation charges) associated with reducing TEC or terminating their connection agreement. The requests that were made during the amnesty are currently being assessed to check against network planning and security via the ESO. If it is agreed to allow a project to relinquish TEC, it may enable other customers further back in the connection queue to proceed and get an earlier connection date.

What is Connections Reform?

In England and Wales, the total capacity of customer projects seeking connection currently stands at 343GW and is continuing to grow at an accelerated rate. This is leading to customers who are entering the pipeline with new projects receiving connection dates that are much later than when they would like to connect.  Therefore, reform of the connections arrangements is a key priority for the energy industry.

Tactical change is underway to begin addressing immediate and longer term issues within the pipeline. NGET is playing a leading role in delivering these changes alongside the ESO, and other industry colleagues.

For more information visit this page: https://www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/future-of-connections

What is the new BESS policy?

One of the key areas in the ESO’S five point plan was to change the way that batteries are dealt with in the connections landscape. The revised policy has now been released by the ESO and means that certain customer BESS projects can be considered for acceleration. For more information, visit the ESO policy page here: https://www.nationalgrideso.com/document/281171/download