The voice of the networks

Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme

If you own or operate a generator connected to the distribution network, you’re urged to apply now to the Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme (known as ALoMCP). By applying, you could be paid thousands of pounds in the next few months to make mandatory Loss of Mains protection changes. These must be made by 1 September 2022, even if you haven’t applied to the programme.

The ALoMCP is offering grants to non-domestic distributed generators that were connected before 1 February 2018 to upgrade their hardware in a move that will improve network resilience, and support wider initiatives helping meet the UK’s net zero targets.

All applicable generators will be required by the Distribution Code to have up to date protection settings by 1st September 2022 or they could be the subject of an enforcement programme. Generators are encouraged to review their Loss of Mains protection settings now to ensure they are compliant before the deadline.

Where changes are required, sites should apply to the ALoMCP to cover the cost of making the updates. As well as receiving funding, participating in the programme is the best way for generators to provide certification of their compliance.

To improve network resilience quickly, distributed generators with a capacity of at least 500kW that use Rate of Change of Frequency (RoCoF) settings up to 0.2 Hz/second claim an extra £5,000 by applying to the fast track process before April 2021.

The ALoMCP does not apply to domestic and similar generation that has been connected under EREC G83. It only applies to generation connected under EREC G59 before 01 February 2018.

  • Why should I apply?

    New requirements have been made in EREC G59 and all owners of generation sites must make these Loss of Mains changes by 1 September 2022. By making them in the ALoMCP, owners can take advantage of financial support to carry out the work.

    Since the ALoMCP launched in September 2019, many sites have been updated to meet the new code requirements. Good progress has been made, but more changes need to be made rapidly to reduce increased Loss of Mains costs.

    Making these changes through the programme will help National Grid ESO run the grid more efficiently and reduce balancing costs. Grants are available through quarterly application windows. Generators are encouraged to apply as soon as they can on the registration portal ahead of the final application deadline on 10 May 2022. The amount of funding available for each site’s changes will reduce for those sites completing their works after 22 May 2022.

    Application window timetable

    Application Window

    Closing date for applications

    6

    09 February 2021

    7

    11 May 2021

    8

    10 August 2021

    9

    09 November 2021

    10

    08 February 2022

    11

    10 May 2022

    A fast track process has been introduced to reduce increased Loss of Mains costs resulting from the reduction in electricity demand from COVID-19 lockdown. Eligible distributed generators are urged to apply before March 2021 to claim additional funding.

     

  • Am I eligible for the fast track process?

    The fast track process offers an additional payment of £5,000 to distributed generation sites that meet specific criteria and can commit to making required Loss of Mains protection changes quickly.

    Owners of sites that meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply via the registration portal before April 2021:

    • Minimun 500kW site registered capacity
    • Rate of Change of Frequency (RoCoF) Loss of Mains protection type
    • up to and including 0.2 Hz/s pre-change RoCoF settings
    • less than or equal to 4 weeks lead time to complete the changes.
  • The technical section! What are the setting changes required in the updated EREC G59?

    All generators that are connected to the distribution networks in Great Britain have Loss of Mains protection, one of the many protection requirements on the electricity system. This applies to generating plant within the scope of EREC G59, regardless of the type of generator eg PV, wind or gas etc. Loss of Mains is designed to check if a generator is still connected to the main network.

    Updated EREC G59 requirements must be implemented by generation owners by 1 September 2022. Where LoM is provided by vector shift, it must be removed and/or replaced with rate of change of frequency protection (RoCoF). RoCoF is the rate at which frequency changes and is used to detect the absence of the connection to the system and disconnects the site if that RoCoF exceeds a specific value.

    The RoCoF setting requirement has been changed to 1 Hz/s with a definite time delay of 500 milliseconds. It will mean National Grid ESO will be able to operate the grid more efficiently.

    Most of the costs incurred in managing the LoM risk on the electricity transmission system is to limit the RoCoF to below 0.125Hz/s. Currently NGESO is limiting the RoCoF to below 0.125Hz/s so that generators with RoCoF protection are not inadvertently tripped. The costs are significant and are paid for by all of us through our electricity bills.

    These costs could be reduced if RoCoF above 0.125Hz/s was allowed. To achieve this, we need to change the RoCoF settings at all sites where RoCoF protection has an existing setting of 0.5Hz/s or less.

  • Who is involved in the Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme?

    The programme is a joint initiative with National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), the ENA, distribution network operators (DNOs) and independent distribution network operators (IDNOs).

    All DNOs and major IDNOs in England, Scotland and Wales are involved. Owners with generation connected to any IDNO should register on the registration portal and the ALoMCP team will ensure they are progressed with all the other applications.

     

  • The Programme Steering Group

    This group is the key forum for stakeholders to make sure their views are considered in the overall management of the ALoMCP and reviews delivery by network licensees. It makes sure that the ALoMCP is run efficiently and for the benefit of stakeholders and consumers.

    The Steering Group is comprised of representatives from network licensees including:

    • National Grid ESO
    • six UK distribution network operators
    • a representative for participating independent distribution network operators
    • up to three representatives of BSUoS payers
    • up to three representatives of distributed generation owners
    • an observer appointed by Ofgem

    Meeting minutes can be found on National Grid ESO’s programme document webpage.

  • What have customers said about the Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme

    Oliver Leake, Earthmill Energy

    “Our company manages a large fleet of wind turbines which required over 250 separate applications for ALoMCP funding. At first this seemed like a daunting task but the user-friendly registration portal made the process of submitting the applications very easy. Whenever I did have a question or if there was something I did not understand, the teams managing the process, at the DNOs and ENA, were friendly, helpful and guided me through the process. Applying for funding is a no brainer as this is likely to be a mandatory change later anyway but right now the works are paid for.”

     

    Luke Andre, Director, Infer Energy Ltd

    “Aside from informing generator owners of impending grid compliance changes, the ALoMCP has proved to be a well organised transition scheme irrespective of the scale of generator. I encourage (qualifying) generation owners to take advantage while they can.”

     

    Martin Bleasby, Senior Manager at EnergyForce

    “The funding application process itself is very straightforward. It’s an absolute no brainer”

     

    Colin Lockwood, Senior Project Engineer at WindCare Ltd

    “For us, the process is relatively simple.”

  • Useful documents for applicants
  • More useful information for applicants

    Applicants will complete the settings changes themselves using their own contractors or site management teams. To assist, the ENA has a directory of contractors who claim they have the capabilities to undertake this work. Generation owners are entitled to use any competent contractor to make the changes to their assets.

    Contractors listed on the directory of contractors are self-declared as competent but are not officially registered or formally approved by DNOs or the ENA.

    A contractor does not have to be listed to participate in the Programme providing they can prove their competency to undertake the changes to the satisfaction of the generator.

    For queries about your generation equipment, site, or the application process, please contact your local distribution network operator.