Electricity network operators' £300 million investment will help to boost renewables and community energy schemes across Britain.
SP Energy Networks: North Wales
SP Energy Networks is working with a community in North West Wales to unlock capacity on the existing network to facilitate the installation of a hydro generator in the village of Mynydd Llandygai, near Bethesda.
This project will provide domestic customers in the area with the opportunity to use locally produced renewable energy.
This investment will create capacity in the existing network through the installation of new assets which will release capacity that is currently constrained. By doing so, the community will be able to realise its ambition to switch to local hydro power.
The project has already secured the necessary planning permission from Gwynedd County Council and gained the appropriate licences from Natural Resources Wales to extract water from the Afon Galedffrwd river.
The project is being driven by the community itself and supports a Welsh Government target that at least 1 GW of renewable energy capacity should be locally owned by 2030.
There is already an expectation that all new energy projects in Wales should have at least an element of community ownership.
Western Power Distribution: Truro
In Truro Western Power Distribution are replacing two 132/33kV transformers, bringing on 30MW extra capacity for demand and for generation.
Reflecting a £2m investment there are a multitude of uses for this new capacity. The area has abundant existing and proposed solar resources as well as a proposed garden village where a number of low carbon technologies are being considered.
Crucially, Cornwall is also an area with many homes which do not have access to the gas network. With improved capacity in the county, more homes in Cornwall will have the option of switching to electric solutions.
UK Power Networks: Hastings
UK Power Networks is investing £12,000 in Hastings local area capacity. This will allow the local community to build the infrastructure for a new heat pump for a community-run building open to the public directly enabling the transition from gas heating to a greener future.
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).
Energy supplier or network operator? Energy network operators are entirely separate to your energy supplier, which is the company that bills you for using electricity and gas. Energy suppliers and generators are represented by Energy UK.