A grid connection is the term used to refer to physically connecting your wind turbines to the national grid, so that the 'clean' electricity your turbine generates can be exported for 'public consumption'.
Without a grid connection you can't receive payments for the electricity your turbines generate.
It's important to note that a grid connection is not essential.
If for example you own an industrial park or large manufacturing facility which consumes huge amounts of electricity, then you may be planning on using all the electricity your turbine generates anyway. In which case there's no need to apply for a grid connection—nothing to export.
However, note I said 'turbine'—singular, not plural.
It is highly unlikely that you will use all of the electricity generated by multiple large turbines unless you have an extremely large site.
In that case you are going to be installing wind turbines on your land as an investment opportunity—and want to get paid for the electricity it generates.
In this latter scenario, successfully obtaining a grid connection is essential.
How Much Will a Grid Connection Cost?
Depending on where you are in the country, you may or may not be successful in procuring a grid connection, depending on available capacity.
If there are already a lot of wind turbines or solar parks near you, the 'available capacity' on your local grid may be very low—meaning the cost of getting connected to the grid could be prohibitively expensive.
Because in this scenario the only way you would be able to develop a wind farm on your land would be to pay to upgrade the local infrastructure. For example, having to pay to upgrade the local area substation to give it more capacity would cost a lot.
In some cases this can cost millions of pounds.
Obviously a lot of money, but then if you have enough land for say 4 or 5 large 2 Megawatt wind turbines, and you are in a high-wind speed part of the country, then the cost could well be justified.
So, the first task is to get a rough idea of how much it would cost to connect to the grid in your area.
To do that you first need to work out how many turbines—and what size—you are able to install on your land.
Secondly, you contact your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to request a 'Budget Estimate'.
I've just introduced a new term, DNO. Read this article to find out what a DNO is. If you decide to progress with developing a wind farm on your site then you will hear that phrase a lot through the development!
So, as the name implies, the budget estimate gives you with a ballpark idea of how much it will cost to connect to the grid.
This link will show you a map of the UK so you can determine which DNO manages the national grid in your location.
As mentioned though, before you can apply for a budget estimate you will need to work out how many wind turbines you can fit on your land, and also what size of turbines you are looking to install.
There is of course quite a lot to this last task - but we can do this for you by performing what's called a 'Desktop Assessment'.
We do this totally free-of-charge.
If after performing the Desktop Assessment we determine your site ticks all of the boxes in terms of wind speed and grid capacity then hopefully you will consider progressing with us (two options here) but there's never any obligation.
Please get in touch if you would like us to perform a free Desktop Assessment, (including applying for a Budget Estimate on your behalf.)