Vattenfall hosts seminar with UK renewable energy developers

Vattenfall, the European leading energy company, hosted a seminar at their headquarters in London to accelerate the delivery of renewable energy projects in the UK. The event brought together an elite circle of the UK’s solar, wind and BESS developers.

Last week, leading energy company Vattenfall hosted a pivotal networking seminar to accelerate progress towards net zero.

One of the biggest challenges for the UK’s net zero target is the speed with which renewable energy projects can connect to the grid – and the event brought together an elite network of the UK’s leading solar, wind and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) developers to present new techniques and opportunities to accelerate the grid connections process.

Vattenfall IDNO – the company’s specialist grid connections division – provided expert guidance to the project developers and critical insights to help improve the economics of renewable energy projects, reaffirming its commitment to supporting the UKs broader net zero transition.

Stewart Dawson, Managing Director at Vattenfall Networks, led a thought-provoking presentation explaining the advantages of partnering with an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO) – the Ofgem regulated energy specialists that connect both energy generation and demand projects to the UK’s electricity grid. The presentation highlighted how working with an IDNO can significantly benefit renewable energy developers, via competitive asset adoption values and a range of other techniques which help developers save money and potentially get their projects connected faster.

Stewart Dawson commented:

We are very pleased to see so many developers exploring the advantages which IDNOs can offer. At Vattenfall IDNO we’re entirely committed to delivering net zero, so we’re proud to be working with so many solar and battery energy storage developers. Understanding how we deliver value engineering, and alternative solutions which make difficult projects feasible is pivotal for renewable energy developers looking to drive business growth and sustainability, and especially important for the UK’s net zero targets.

The event showcased working case studies, allowing developers to glean from real-world examples of successful collaborations between solar PV and BEES developers and Vattenfall IDNO.

A Q&A session followed, which led to some lively discussions about Distribution Use of Systems (DUoS) charges, planning permissions, wayleaves and the grid application process. The questions from project developers clearly reflected a collective appetite for faster progress towards the UK’s Net Zero goal. Grid capacity was a recurring theme of the discussions, along with grid connection delays, planning permissions and hurdles with regulatory bodies.

Vattenfall presented several solutions to address these challenges and provided developers with new information to help them circumnavigate some of the critical issues. For example, to support their new grid connections consultancy service, the team at Vattenfall have recently developed a platform for analysing grid capacity anywhere in the UK, which can provide developers with key insights into the best locations for their projects.

The seminar provided an invaluable opportunity for developers to engage in open dialogue, a rarity in the industry. By providing a space where peers were invited to learn together the event fostered a collaborative spirit among the UK’s leading renewable energy innovators.

Mark Rowcroft, Managing Director at Exagen, expressed enthusiasm about the gathering:

The presentation was excellent — it’s clear who the key players are and Vattenfall’s leading role in the industry. However, the real value came from observing the various perspectives shared across the room. It’s not common that developers are offered the chance to have open conversations with one another, so it’s truly rewarding to see that we’re aligned and hold common ambitions for the development of this industry in the UK.

Reflecting the collective expertise in the room, all the developers demonstrated a strong grasp of the IDNO advantages. Yet, it was the Q&A session that truly underscored the value of the event.

Ian Chisholm, Head of Greenfield Development at Vantage RE, captured the sentiment perfectly, noting:

While familiar with the IDNO business model, the Q&A was invaluable. Witnessing a range of industry participants pose pertinent questions and the team’s responses provided exceptional insights.

The UK’s net zero challenge requires an acceleration in innovation and collaboration to cut carbon emissions and electrify our industries at an unprecedented rate. The Vattenfall event highlighted how such collaborations happen and a genuine appetite for working in partnership to solve our collective carbon challenge.

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