Scotland to export more green energy to England
Scotland's power network is to receive a £95 million upgrade, boosting its renewable energy capability.
Energy regulator Ofgem said the extra funding would enable electricity networks to handle connections from more renewable generators.
It is the latest stage of a major investment programme to help the UK meet its carbon targets and tackle climate change.
More than 80m will be spent by National Grid Electricity Transmission and Scottish Power Transmission on increasing the amount of electricity that can flow between the high-voltage networks of England and Scotland, helping the export of renewable electricity from Scotland. Other cash being spent includes 11.5m by Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission, which will upgrade its network to connect generation in the north of Scotland.
Stuart Cook, of Ofgem, said: "Upgrading Scotland's electricity networks so they can handle connections from more renewable generators is crucial to helping meet Britain's climate change targets.
"Our decision means we have approved more than 400m extra investment in the high-voltage grids across Britain in less than a year. We are now assessing the business case for other network upgrades needed so Britain can reach its renewable energy potential."
As part of the current transmission price control, Ofgem agreed Britain's transmission companies - National Grid Electricity Transmission plc, Scottish Power Transmission Limited and Scottish Hydro-Electric Transmission Limited - could invest 3.8 billion.
Last year, Ofgem introduced a framework for providing additional funding, in tranches, for critical investments over and above the 3.8bn. Ofgem has since been working with the transmission companies to examine the business case for individual projects, and approve the funding when it is justified.
So far, Ofgem has approved more than 400m of this additional funding, including the 95m announced yesterday.
Energy minister Jim Mather said: "This is welcome and illustrates the scale of investment needed to fully develop a fit-for-purpose grid that can harness all of Scotland's renewables potential.
"Ofgem and National Grid must connect even more renewables projects in Scotland, including our island communities, to allow us to increase the amount of green energy we harness, transmit and export."
He added: "We are continuing to pursue a change to the discriminatory approach to the transmission charging regime that sees generators in the areas of best renewable resource pay the highest charges for using the grid, a clear barrier to renewables development."Liberal Democrat energy spokesman Liam McArthur MSP said: "The full detail of how this funding will impact on improving gird access remains to be seen, but the announcement is very welcome.
"Improving access to the grid is increasingly seen as the key issue for many developers and others in the renewable sector."
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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