Regional Development Programmes

Collaborating to unlock network capacity

We’re collaborating with National Grid ESO and Electricity Transmission to unlock more network capacity and connect more generators at lowest cost.


About Regional Development Programmes (RDP)

RDPs are projects that identify where reinforcements are preventing customers from connecting to the network and aim to provide tools and resources to help.

This allows Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) to connect faster, ahead of reinforcement which, in some cases, is planned for 10+ years. This whole-systems approach requires collaboration between UK Power Networks, National Grid Electricity Transmission and National Grid Electricity System Operator.

This approach to allowing DERs to connect early will reduce customer costs by better managing the clear dependencies between the Transmission and Distribution Network and assisting the journey to the UK becoming Net Zero by 2050.

UK Power Networks has two RDP areas, the Eastern area and the South East. Both networks face challenges with transmission network upgrades due as late as 2030 and beyond. Drivers for the transmission reinforcement include large offshore wind and nuclear generation planned in the East and interconnectors in the South East.

South East Coast RDPs

MW Dispatch RDP solution

UK Power Networks has been collaborating with the ESO to implement a Megawatt (MW) Dispatch service in the SPN network.

Through coordination and data exchange with our control room, the project will enable ESO to instruct DER units to reduce their output at times of system constraint, while our DSO dispatches the generators.

This system enables customers to receive constraint payments for the electricity they would have otherwise generated. This will, in turn, provide a cheaper alternative to the existing constraint management process used within the balancing mechanism, helping to reduce costs for consumers.

Customers are currently being onboarded to participate in this service, which will be further developed to include other dispatch scenarios.
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Wind solar farm

N-3 solution

In the context of RDP, an N-3 Operational Tripping Scheme (OTS) is a mechanism to ensure that the transmission network remains within its safe limits during an N-3 event.
An N-3 event occurs when a ‘double circuit fault’ on the transmission network takes place while a transmission circuit is under maintenance. This is considered to be a once-in-a-hundred-year event. The N-3 Operational tripping scheme can disconnect DERs feeding into the impacted part of the transmission network within 30 seconds of the N-3 event.

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