Flexible connections

Flexible connections

We offer several flexible connection options, which means you could benefit from avoiding reinforcement costs and associated timescales for traditional network reinforcement.

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Sometimes in order to connect further demand or generation customers onto our network, we need to make changes to our assets to ensure that they do not exceed safe operating limits. 

Our unconstrained offers can be more expensive because they are more likely to need extra assets to be installed (ie. network reinforcement) to allow unconditional import or export. They can also have longer lead times based on the time it takes to reinforce the network prior to your connection. 

What is a flexible connection?

A flexible connection is defined as one that has constraints associated with the terms of connection. These constraints may relate to time limits or system abnormalities.

Flexible connections can offer an enduring solution for accommodating a new connection without the need to reinforce our network, but they can also be used temporarily whilst awaiting the completion of the network changes necessary to allow unconstrained operation.

We currently offer the following types of flexible connection:

System Normal Connection - A system normal connection is disconnected or constrained when there is a First Circuit Outage affecting the circuit dedicated to supplying the customer or the local Distribution System. This connection could be managed either remotely or via an intertripping scheme.

Export Limited Connection - A connection where the installed generation equipment has a greater export capability than that which has been agreed to be exported onto the Electricity North West distribution system.

We are in the process of implementing our new Network Management System which will allow us to offer the following additional flexible connection options:

Timed Connection - A connection arrangement where connection capacity is subject to restrictions within specific time periods.

Import Limited Connection - A connection where the installed equipment has a greater import capability than that which has been agreed to be imported from the Electricity North West distribution system.

Active Network Management - Use of control systems to modify import and/or export in line with previous agreed limits.

If you are willing to accept a flexible connection, Please indicate this on your application form. You can also include further details of your requirements within the ‘additional information’ section of your application, and our planning teams will be in touch to discuss this with you. We already offer flexible connections as standard for all generation connections greater than 200kVA.

If you accept a flexible connection offer, your asset may be constrained up to an agreed limit under certain conditions, ie when the network is operating ‘abnormally’.  The conditions of the constraint and level of constraint will be set out in your offer letter.

To progress with an alternative connection offer, you will need to make sure you are able to control your asset in response to the constraint conditions within your offer.

How do I switch from a flexible connection to a firm connection or increase my security of supply?

We understand that flexible connections are not suitable for all customers’ requirements and that sometimes people may want to adjust the terms of their agreements. In the majority of cases a flexible connection will have been offered in order to prevent network reinforcement or at the request of the original applicant. In order to modify the terms of the agreement it is generally necessary to carry out a connections study to determine the impacts of the change to the network. These changes may incur costs and there may be restrictions on when the changes can be made, depending upon the scale of any network constraints identified.

If you would like to speak to us about modifying your existing connection please contact: connectionapplications@enwl.co.uk. 

Curtailment Information

Read more about our curtailment index and 'cap' which we've introduced in our quotations to help clarify how much curtailment you might experience with a flexible connection, to support your investment decision making.

Read more