Alternative and Flexible Connections 

Our generation customers may wish to connect to our network but due to constraints are unable to. Therefore, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks have developed a suite of alternative and flexible connections. These allow our customers to connect to the network as an alternative to reinforcement or until reinforcement is completed. Our customers may request or be offered this type of connection either by directly asking or as an alternative to a previous traditional connection offer.  

Forming a consortium 

One potential option available to our customers is to share the cost with other customers who wish to connect to the same part of the network. This can be done by forming a consortium. To assist customers with identifying others that may be interested in forming a consortium, we have developed a consortia register as part of our Heatmap tool, which can be accessed here

Flexible Connection Options 


Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks must ensure that if there are two circuits running in parallel and one of the circuit’s fails then the other circuit can pick up the load. This part of system planning standards. A generator may incur additional reinforcement charges due to the remaining circuit not having a sufficient excess capacity. Therefore, an intertrip connection may be offered. This allows a customer to connect onto the network under the condition that the generator will be disconnected from the network if one of the circuits fail. 

Contractual Flexibility 

We consider flexibility in contractual terms in circumstances where a transitional solution may be available for a customer. Examples include situations where the local connection works can be completed early, but the full capacity is not available until reinforcement is complete. In this scenario, we can include special conditions within the Connection Agreement which can allow the customer to export some of their full capacity – dependent upon what the current network can accommodate. 

Timed Connections

The timed export connection offers the customer the possibility of connecting to the network and exporting during certain periods of the day or week. In some areas of our network there is the potential to make use of generation or demand diversity. The examples we currently support are where the majority of generation in an area is PV then during non-daylight hours other types of generation can export freely, such as wind. Another alternative is where demand is high during the week but low over the weekend, for example in an industrial area, in this case a generator can export Monday – Friday but constrained over the weekend. 

Single Generator Active Network Management (SGANM) 

SGANM is similar to a full ANM scheme, except instead of managing multiple constraints and multiple generators it manages only one generator. The SGANM will monitor constraints and issue the generator a safe level of export capacity in real time. 

The SGANM will be offered to the first generator in the constrained area, should second generator request a connection in the same zone then a full ANM will be installed. 

Approximate install timescale: 4 months 

Active Network Management (ANM) 

In areas where there are several, complex thermal constraints affecting a number of customers over a long period of time, full ANM systems will be implemented, where it is technically viable. The ANM systems continually monitor all the constraints on the network in real time and allocate the maximum amount of capacity available to customers in that area based on the date their connection was accepted. 

Orkney ANM System – operational and open for further applications 

Isle of Wight ANM System – operational and open for further applications 

Shetland ANM – operational but closed for further applications 

Export-limiting Devices 

We will consider applications for export-limiting devices on a case by case basis. The customer will ensure the export limit given by us is not exceeded. We will also install a failsafe system so that in the event of the generators export limiting scheme failing, the generator will be disconnected.  

Approximate install timescale: 4 months 

3rd Party Active Network Management 

There are two types of 3rd party ANM connections for the customer to consider - shared capacity and demand management. Both of which are installed and managed by the customer. 

Shared Capacity example: An existing generator may have a contracted capacity of 10MW but only have 6MW of connected generation. Therefore, there is the potential for a customer to approach this generator and make use of the spare capacity. The customers will install a system that will ensure the combined export of both generators does not exceed the contracted capacity. This is a temporary solution and will allow you to connect to our network ahead of the reinforcement.   

Demand Management example: A new 250kW generator wishes to connect to the distribution network. However due to the constraint upstream the generator has a limited export of 50kW. The generator develops a proposal to increase the minimum demand by changing gas boilers to electric boilers on the same circuit as the constrained asset. The generator has calculated this will increase the minimum demand by 200kW. The generator must then ensure that when the 50kW limit is breached that suitable demand is brought onto the network. 

We will install a back-up system so that in the event the customers system fails the generator will be disconnected. 

Approximate install timescale: 4 months 

Flexible Payment Terms 

We offer flexible payment terms for all connections at the pre-energisation stage. For large connections or those that will not be completed for several years, staged payments will be offered automatically to the customer. For all other connections, we advise customers to let us know if they would prefer to make staged payments and this will then be offered. 

Flexible Connections Highlights

  • 93 Flexible Connections 
  • 412.5MW of Distributed Generation connected through SSEN network using flexible connections. 
  • Customers saved 90 years of required reinforcement connection delays 
  • Avoided £58m of reinforcement costs to customers. 

See related documents

You may also be interested in

  • Active Network Management

  • Flexible Solutions Document Library

Contact us

If you need more information on flexible connections, email us and get in touch.