On 13 November 2023, Ofgem approved the code modification proposal (CMP) 376; Inclusion of Queue Management process within the Connection and Use of System Code (CUSC). This introduces a similar process to that developed for Distribution connecting parties in 2018, yet there are some significant differences in definition, management approach and implications of a milestone date being missed. The approval of CMP376 (and specifically the Workgroup Alternative CUSC Modification (WACM) number seven) will see a queue management process applied to new and existing Construction Agreements, with associated termination powers provided to National Grid ESO where projects fail to meet set milestones.
To support clients and the industry as a whole, Roadnight Taylor has developed a simple Milestone Calculator for transmission queue management. This free to download tool offers a view of milestone dates ahead of any Modification Application Offer or Construction Agreement Offer associated with a new application.
Changes to the legal text within the CUSC (Section 16 and Schedule 2 Exhibit 3 and 3A) took effect on 27 November 2023, with all new Construction Agreement Offers or Modification Application Offers receiving a new Appendix Q with User Progression Milestones included. Users with existing or offered Construction Agreements as of the 27 November 2023, have two main options:
- Submit a Modification Application with Appendix Q based on the Completion Date offered in the Modification Application Offer.
- Have User Progression Milestones applied to the existing Completion Date via an Agreement to Vary (AtV). This process will be initiated if no Modification Application is submitted by 27 May 2024, or an issued Modification Application Offer is not accepted.
Note, if the Agreement to Vary is not accepted by the User, National Grid ESO will rely on the variations clause (usually Clause 15) within the existing Construction Agreement to legally implement the required changes to the existing User Construction Agreement.
There is an exception for projects with a Connection Date prior to 27 November 2025. Queue Management would not be applied in this case unless the project has not or cannot demonstrate that they are progressing towards that Connection Date in accordance with the construction programme (to the reasonable satisfaction of National Grid ESO). If Users who have a Connection Date prior to 27 November 2025 wish to modify the date, they must do so by submitting a Modification Application by 27 January 2024. Any Modification Application Offer would include an Appendix Q and associated revised clauses.
National Grid ESO have published a guidance document and a workshop series to inform. Please see their Queue Management guide here.