Unblocking Networks: Local Optimisation, Consumers and Knowledge (UN:LOCK) was awarded funding through Round 3 of Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) and is being delivered by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, Regen and Environmental Project Support.

Project duration: March 2024 – May 2024

Project leads: Tamar Bourne, Head of Smart Energy, and Ellie Brundrett, Net Zero Project Manager


The Isle of Wight has a significant resource for renewable energy generation and has made good progress in deploying assets, currently dominated by solar power generation. However, there is a limit to how much of this renewable electricity can be connected to the network due to the available capacity of the cables that connect the Isle of Wight to the mainland. The island’s electricity network has been constrained on generation for 10 years making it difficult for new generators to connect on a non-curtailable basis. In 2022 Regen was commissioned to undertake a detailed, accurate review of planned and aspirational growth of electricity demand, generation and storage across the Isle of Wight. There was consensus that the Isle of Wight is a good place to develop renewables and that grid constraints are preventing strong projects in a supportive local authority area from coming forward.

Unblocking Networks: Local Optimisation, Consumers and Knowledge (UN:LOCK)

While there is now a focus on installing an additional subsea cable to increase the available capacity, this could take 6-10 years to achieve due to planning, consenting and construction requirements. Project UN:LOCK is looking at ways in which the connection of new generation can be accelerated ahead of this network reinforcement. It is exploring opportunities to reliably increase on-island demand at the appropriate times to create additional capacity on the network and looking at using novel commercial arrangements, data and digital tools to maximise network capacity and enable the accelerated connection of generation. We spoke to a wide range of stakeholders with interest in developing renewable energy projects, as well as other key organisations interested in driving forward the net zero ambitions on the island, to discuss the emerging options in detail.

People on this project

Bruce Bardsley
Bruce is an Associate of Regen. He has assisted the data analytics team in…
Tamar Bourne
Head of innovation
Tamar is the head of innovation at Regen. She strives to be at the…
Ellie Brundrett
Net Zero Project Manager
Since joining Regen in 2021, Ellie has been responsible for delivering some of our…
Tamsyn Lonsdale-Smith
Senior Energy Analyst
Tamsyn is a senior energy analyst interested in all things people and digital. She…

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