Why are BEGA Customers not benefitting from the industry’s earlier connection initiatives?

What is BEGA?

A Bilateral Embedded Generator Agreement (BEGA) is a contract between an embedded generating customer and National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO), setting out requirements under the Grid Code, Connection and Use of System (CUSC) and Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC). 

This agreement provides the generating customer with Transmission Entry Capacity (TEC) and the right to operate in the electricity balancing market. It is a requirement for all large generation projects (>99.9MW) to participate in the balancing market, hence a BEGA with NGESO is a requisite for this class of project to connect to the network. 

What is the problem?                                            

As Great Britain’s connections queue is exceeding 700GW across distribution and transmission networks, many customers are receiving connection offers in the mid to late 2030s driven by the need for large-scale transmission reinforcement works. To tackle the issue of delayed connection timescales, the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are implementing the ‘Technical Limits’ process as part of the Electricity Network’s Association (ENA) 3-point plan, to allow distributed generation projects to connect much sooner to the network. 

These sites will have the option to connect on a non-firm basis (i.e. curtailed connection) until the relevant transmission reinforcement works have been completed. NGESO have announced a similar early non-firm access scheme for directly connected transmission generation and storage connections as part of their 5-point plan. Again, these sites will have the option to connect on a non-firm basis until the relevant transmission reinforcement works have been completed.

However, through their respective customer engagement workshops, it has been confirmed that large embedded BEGA generators are excluded from the DNOs ‘Technical Limits’ solution and NGESO’s earlier non-firm access scheme is currently only considering directly connected transmission customers. 

Electric Land is concerned that this means BEGA projects are being treated unequally and potentially allows projects behind BEGA projects in the Transmission/Distribution queue to connect earlier with non-firm access. We are further concerned that between Electricity Distributors and Transmission Licensees, there is a failure to comply with a number of statutory and licence obligations; that being an obligation on them to co-ordinate and co-operate with each other in order to build a common understanding of where actions taken by one licensee, could have cross-network impacts both positive and negative. This imposes a duty on licensees to ensure that specific classes of projects are not discriminated against, and that the interface between the distribution and transmission systems is efficient and co-ordinated. 

The DNOs’ and NGESO’s failure to include BEGA customers in any of their early non-firm connections schemes discriminates against the BEGA class of customers, disadvantaging these as compared to other types of users connecting to the distribution and transmission systems.

What are Electric Land trying to do about the problem?

Electric Land are carrying out ongoing discussions and meetings with several DNOs and NGESO, challenging them to identify possible options and solutions to allow BEGA customers to benefit from these initiatives to connect sooner to the grid, which would ensure that there is no discrimination against this class of project. 

Please get in touch if you are experiencing a similar situation with your BEGA project(s) and would like to keep updated on our progress and add your company to a growing list of dissatisfied BEGA customers affected by this issue. This will aid in our discussion with the network operators and demonstrate the wider concern across the industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *