WS4 - System enhancement

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New connections processes can make it simpler and cheaper to connect to the gas network, and can improve system operation.

As the gas networks continue on the pathway to net zero there is a need for the network to be smarter and be responsive to the optimised future system as it begins to take shape, facilitating more decentralised gas production or through new maintenance and replacement practices.

The System enhancement workstream will anticipate the net zero emissions world and the changes required of gas network assets to deliver it. This may include changes to processes such as gas entry and exit connections, to assets such as pipelines, plant and equipment, rotating equipment, or to services to respond to new network configurations and smart system operation.

Deliverable 4.1 - Entry connection standardisation

Distributed gas entry is becoming ever more commonplace in the gas network. The technical requirements to connect these onshore and typically small scale sites differ from network to network company and as such a programme of standardisation has been ongoing since 2018.

Gas Goes Green will evaluate the current standardisation programme, determining what aspects can be brought into effect now and what further efforts to simplify connections and reduce costs can be introduced for new customers commissioning after 1 April 2021, when the new regulatory period begins. The diagram below shows the current progress of the standardisation programme.

GGG connection standardisation programme

This study will report in November.

To put producers of green gas firmly in the driving seat a new Decentralised Gas Forum will meet quarterly with stakeholders representing hydrogen production and biomethane developers (anaerobic digestion and thermal gasification). The Forum will allow members to table items to challenge network practices and to work together to produce policies and procedures that will best deliver changes required and, including but not limited to nonstandardised processes.

If you would like to express your interest in joining this group please email [email protected]

Deliverable 4.2 - Grid capacity optioneering

Green gas entry connections, such as biomethane plants, may often be in rural areas where local gas demand is low. This can lead to otherwise viable projects not going forward. And for those that do the plants may not be able to inject gas year round. Lack of capacity can lead to the flaring of gas in existing biomethane plants, particularly during summer months when local demand for gas is low.

Gas Goes Green will evaluate network capacity solutions that could increase the gas networks’ scope to receive biomethane supplies in areas of the lower pressure gas network that have limited local demand. For example, network compression (enabling gas to move up to high pressure tiers in the network) could be implemented strategically for reverse flow enabling flexible injection and management of biomethane, including for seasonal storage. New approaches to gas priority dispatch could also encourage greater green gas injection, including hydrogen in years to come.

A project to consider options will commence in July.

Deliverable 4.3 - Assessing network fugitive emissions

System enhancement is not only required at connection sites. While the Iron Mains Risk Reduction Programme (IMRRP) has reduced the emissions of the UK gas network, fugitive emissions from biomethane transportation and from above ground installations should be evaluated and possible mitigations tested. Live trials could follow in subsequent years, delivering further emissions savings from an ever modernising gas network.

This work will commence during 2020 with recommendations of subsequent work.

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