Small scale generation SCADA update

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In May 2017, the Ulster Farmers’ Union issued a Commodity Watch alerting small scale renewable energy generators that NIE Networks were intending to roll out a SCADA enforcement process as required under the Distribution Code (D-code).

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) is a system which acquires data from a generating unit, which then relays information back to NIE Networks on the operation and output of the unit allowing them to issue commands to the unit when necessary. This will mainly affect customers with wind turbines and AD plants above 200kW.

Last week, NIE Networks started issuing the first batch of SCADA enforcement notices. The letters will be issued on a batched substation-by substation-basis throughout the country. NIE Network have confirmed that further batches will be issued over the next few weeks.

Failure to install SCADA would be considered as non-compliance within the D-code. Compliance requires that all power stations, greater than 200kW will be required to fit SCADA as part of the terms of their connection offer. Should a generator not already have SCADA installed, they will be granted one year to rectify this.

In the first instance, NIE Networks are urging generators to engage with them once they receive the notification letter. If you receive an enforcement letter, you are advised to call NIE Networks. The NIE Networks letter will also invite affected generators to a workshop to discuss the SCADA requirements and the consequences of non-compliance.

If you have not yet received a letter and have a general query, you can email ssg.nto@nienetworks.co.uk. Technical requirements can be found in the SSG Setting Schedule which is available from the NIE Networks website; www.nienetworks.co.uk/ssg-setting-schedule