--Ofgem delivers a GBP300 million down payment to speed up projects across Britain's power-distribution networks
--The money is part of a wider GBP40 billion investment package to achieve net zero in the U.K.
--The projects will support more than 3,500 new electric-vehicle charging points
By Jaime Llinares Taboada
Ofgem said Monday that it has approved 300 million pounds ($424.5 million) in investments to upgrade Britain's local energy-distribution networks.
The regulator of Britain's power and gas sectors said the investment will fund 204 projects in England, Scotland and Wales to support clean transport and heat, and open up local grids to take on more low-carbon electricity generation.
In particular, the money will support the installation of 1,800 ultra-rapid electric-vehicle charging points at motorway service areas and 1,750 points in towns and cities.
Around half of the money, GBP144.8 million, is funding that Ofgem allocated as part of the last power-network price control and that companies didn't spend. The other GBP155.7 million is money that will be passed to consumers over the following years.
The investment will be delivered in the next two years, and is part of a bigger plan to upgrade the U.K.'s energy infrastructure amid efforts to achieve net-zero emissions. This wider investment package is expected to total around GBP40 billion.
Britain's distribution companies include Electricity North West Ltd., Northern Powergrid, Scottish and Southern Energy Networks, SP Energy Networks, U.K. Power Networks and Western Power Distribution.
"In the year that Glasgow hosts the COP26 climate summit, the energy networks are rising to the challenge and working with us and partners to accelerate projects that can start now, benefiting consumers, boosting the economy and creating jobs," Ofgem Chief Executive Jonathan Brearley said.
"Following a successful call for evidence, in which local authorities, developers and other parties stated the case for extra network capacity to receive investment, Britain's energy networks will now accelerate funding over the next 12-24 months," the Energy Networks Association said.
Write to Jaime Llinares Taboada at firstname.lastname@example.org; @JaimeLlinaresT
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