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Grid connections for renewable energy

A thorough investigation of grid connection feasibility for your renewable energy generation assets.

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Marion Hill Marion Hill
Global Practice Head, Civil Engineering
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Grid connections for renewable energy

To achieve a suitable grid connection, renewable energy developers need to assess and comply with a range of regulatory requirements. Larger generation schemes have to abide by grid code requirements, whereas for smaller projects, in the UK for example, distribution codes apply. It is also important to understand the cost and feasibility of your new renewable energy project, as well as the grid’s ability to accommodate new generation.

Grid connections model
An independent study from a trusted source can help you assess grid connection feasibility and the operation of your project against these engineering recommendations. Working with you, we liaise with the transmission and distribution system network operators and discuss your requirements, timetable and your proposed levels of generation.

We are then able to build an electronic model of the network and the generation project. By combing the two, we help you investigate network connection feasibility and potential network impacts, in terms of clearly defined technical issues. The process of assessing network connection feasibility can also include an estimate as to the likely grid connection costs.

Connection feasibility
There are five key connection issues that are considered in any assessing the grid connection feasibility of any new generation project:

  • Thermal capacity – the ability of the network to accommodate new generation
  • Voltage rise/drop – the effect of the new generation scheme, on the network, in terms of voltage profiles
  • Fault levels – how the new generation scheme affects existing fault levels
  • Harmonic emissions – the distortion generated by the connection of non-linear plant (e.g. power converters)
  • Voltage fluctuation – the changes in voltage produced by the ‘switching’ of electrical plant

Throughout our network analysis, we identify if any of these issues are likely to obstruct the project connection process. If they do, we explore the likely costs that you may incur for electrical system upgrades. Upgrade works might include the replacement of switchgear, transformers, overhead lines and cabling.

On completion, we provide you with a report which outlines the technical issues of grid connection feasibility. It also covers the commercial implications of connecting the scheme to the network.

Global, tailored service
Our global service is always tailored to your specific needs, whether you require assistance with an onshore or offshore wind farm, marine generator or solar park. Our experts help you assess the grid connection feasibility through a thorough understanding of the technical requirements relevant to the connection of a generation scheme to the network.