Business and individual owner-operators of solar, wind, gas or combined heat and power (CHP) electricity generation plant in the UK have until 10 May to apply for financial support with upgrading equipment to meet new Ofgem requirements under the Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme (ALoMCP) scheme.
Operated by National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) and the GB Distribution Network Operators, the scheme was established to help owners of generation equipment to become compliant with new mandatory Distribution Code regulations – the regulations that generator owners must abide by to connect to the electricity network. Once the funding ends, generator owners will still need to meet the compliance requirements but will have to pay for the updates themselves.
Under the new regulations which come into effect on 1 September 2022, all electricity generation within the scope of the programme must be compliant, or face Ofgem approved enforcement action. A 2018 survey by The Economist found that one in three UK businesses are now generating their own electricity. In many cases, it will be the role of facilities managers, or facilities management organisations to ensure the generation within scope of the programme is compliant, which includes generation that:
- Was installed before February 2018 (or in some cases, July 2018).
- Is between 11kW and 50MW in capacity.
- Is connected via the G59 engineering requirement of the Distribution Code.
The equipment updates concern the inverters, converters or G59 relays that are responsible for the Loss of Mains protection settings on the generator. They are an instrumental part of all generation equipment and help protect both the generator and the network from potential faults. In updating the protection settings, the generation becomes more reliable and therefore embeds the electricity network with more strength and resilience.
Cheng Chen, senior manager for the ALoMCP at National Grid ESO, says: “Compliance with Loss of Mains requirements is not optional and so electricity generator owners should take advantage of the funding that is available now to help them make the upgrades.
“This is a relatively small change for most generator owners to make, but if we can achieve widespread compliance the combined impact will have a huge benefit to our electricity network. By becoming compliant, generator owners will be futureproofing their power and helping to deliver a strong, resilient, and low carbon electricity network to protect our power for future generations.”
Non-compliant generation poses a risk to the electricity network and those not compliant from 1 September 2022 could be subject to an enforcement process that could result in the de-energisation of the whole site.
As a result of widespread Loss of Mains compliance, Great Britain’s electricity network will be better able to bring more renewable electricity generators online, as a more resilient network can support additional low carbon generation.
Frequently asked questions
How can generator owners become compliant?
Generator owners without compliant assets must act now to make the necessary changes, or risk enforcement action. They can apply for funding themselves and make the changes or can engage with contractors who can apply for funding and complete the works for them.
Electricity generator owners who are unsure about what to do can visit www.futureproofyourpower.co.uk to find out more about the changes and use the self-serve tool to find out their next steps.
Generator owners must submit compliance declarations and evidence to support the declaration via the ENA portal by midnight on 31 August.
What if generators are already compliant?
Electricity generator owners must declare they are complaint via the ENA portal. Generator owners must submit compliance declarations and evidence to support the declaration via the ENA portal by midnight on 31 August.
Does this apply to domestic rooftop solar panels?
In most cases the updates will not impact those with domestic solar arrays as the capacity is too small. However, it may impact those with very large domestic solar arrays.