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ClearViewConnect report will improve customer visibility on connections pipeline

The launch of our new reporting tool ClearViewConnect will make the connections pipeline clearer, simpler and faster for customers, speeding up the connections process for key green energy and infrastructure projects.

The ClearViewConnect report – a first for a Distribution Network Operator - brings together valuable connections data and insights for customers and developers in a single, easily accessible format. It allows customers to look up any Grid Supply Point (GSP) in our licence areas and access technical data, including capacity and information on reinforcement works.

Developed following extensive engagement with connections stakeholders, the report provide a high-level view on time and cost to connect, informing developers which network area offers them the most realistic prospect of the quickest and cheapest connection. It also provides an anonymised view of the generation connections pipeline for a specific GSP, enabling customers to see what their connection timeline could look like and any potential interim unavailability if their connection was accelerated.

The information provided by the report will help developers with the decision-making process for renewable generation and infrastructure projects by allowing them to identify the best connection point for their assets and also understand the interaction with other connection technologies and capacities in the same area.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working alongside three of our largest business-to-business generation customers – Octopus Energy, RWE, and Severn Trent – to shape and develop the report and the methodology behind it.

ClearViewConnect will also help customers with existing connection offers by giving them a more informed view about connections across their portfolio of schemes.

As customers build these insights into their decision making, it may mean that less attractive schemes are withdrawn from the connections pipeline. Together with other initiatives such as Ofgem’s recent announcement on robust milestone management, the report is intended to help create a more free-flowing connections pipeline. National Grid will be working collaboratively with customers in the coming months and listening to their feedback so that the report can evolve with more functionality potentially being added in the future.

Cordi O’Hara, President of National Grid Electricity Distribution, said: “As a company, we have listened to our customers and have set about finding practical ways to accelerate and deliver connections reform and the delivery of key green energy and infrastructure projects. Customers who are developing new schemes across our network need to understand which connection points offer them the best chance to connect when they want, at the lowest cost. Our ClearViewConnect report provides this and is an important step to deliver insights about the profile of our connection pipelines, helping customers make informed decisions.

“We are also keen to work with the rest of the industry to share the learnings and model from this process, so that they can be easily replicated by individual DNOs as an offer to their customers.”

Steve McMahon, Interim Director - Network Price Controls, Ofgem, said: “This is a welcome step forward. Improving the transparency and consistency of data for network users is core to our Data Best Practice Guidance and we are pleased to see National Grid making more data available to those seeking connections to their electricity networks. We encourage National Grid and all networks to continue to work closely with their customers and each other to ensure that the provision of network and connections data across GB, for all parts of the system, is co-ordinated and responsive to stakeholder needs.”

Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, said: "Long and opaque connection queues are preventing customers from fully benefiting from low-cost green power, while stopping developers from making the best decisions about where to invest. We congratulate Cordi and her team for taking this approach and providing more visibility of projects in the queues in their network. I look forward to seeing other networks follow suit and collaborate further so renewable projects that are genuinely ready to go can get a connection quickly."

Phil Jones, Chief Executive at Northern Powergrid, said: “At Northern Powergrid, we have been working at pace on solutions which will speed up grid connections for our customers, and we recognise the importance of making transparent and accurate data available to customers for them to plan their projects confidently. National Grid's collaborative lead on the website means that we are quickly able to adopt it enabling our customers at all stages of their project to assess the viability of the project from the outset and find the best point for their connection. This is excellent progress in helping our customers with greener energy solutions, and we at Northern Powergrid are continuing to work on improvements, alongside our fellow DNOs, to enable our customers to get connected much faster and more efficiently.”

The ClearViewConnect report is part of a suite of tools being developed by National Grid to support wider industry reform of the connections process. To view the report, please visit our connections website here.