At SSEN we might not have a crystal ball or a De’Lorean time machine to journey into the future, but there are many things we are doing now to help us plan for our future network needs and key outputs in the 2020s and beyond. We believe that preparation and planning will be the key driver in continuing to deliver a robust, efficient and resilient future network for our customers and stakeholders.
By analysing energy trends, looking at areas of growth in the energy industry, listening to customers and engaging with our key stakeholders we can build a picture of likely scenarios that can help us prepare for the next expected RIIO-T2 price control period from 2021 - 2029 and continue to meet our future network needs for customers in the north of Scotland.
As part of this work, we published our North of Scotland Onshore Wind Repowering paper this month; a consultation which seeks views from interested stakeholders on expected levels of onshore wind repowering in our network area. Following initial engagement with renewable developers, trade organisations and local and national government on the potential for repowering, our analysis identified that up to 700MW of onshore wind capacity could be nearing the end of its operational life in the 2020s (assuming a 20-25 year asset lifetime). We are keen to understand what this means for our network and what we can do in terms of preparation to continue to support Scotland’s low carbon economy.
Feedback so far has identified that there are a number of potential and credible options available to repower wind farms in the north of Scotland, but we know there are also a number of factors and constraints that could impact the scale of future development. Following this first phase of work, we are now seeking further views to test our assumptions and identify any further factors that should be considered as part of this work stream.
The publication of the onshore wind farm repowering paper marks the first of four Future Energy Scenario (FES) consultation papers that we will be engaging on during late 2017 and early 2018. Further consultation documents on Electric Vehicles, Generation and Storage and Heat and Energy Efficiency are also planned in the coming weeks to determine the scale and type of network investments required over the next decade to maintain a safe and secure supply of electricity for the communities we serve.
We intend to formally present all of the outcomes and learnings from all of our FES work streams in 2018 following consultation, feedback and thorough analysis.
Our onshore wind repowering consultation is open until midnight on Friday 8th December 2017 – if you have views on the future of repowering, or on any of our wider FES work streams in the north of Scotland please get in touch.
To read and respond to the onshore wind repowering paper, please click here.
Blog by Imran Mohammed, Senior Business Insight Analyst at SSEN.