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Grid Constraints Could Lead To Ban On New Housing In West London

London could stall for years new housing developments in three of its West boroughs because the electricity network of the UK’s capital has hit capacity and cannot support new homes in those areas, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has warned in a letter to developers seen by the Financial Times.

Commercial properties, housing developments, and industry sites in the boroughs of Hillingdon, Hounslow, and Ealing in West London applying for access to the electricity distribution network will likely wait for years to get new connections to the power grid, the GLA’s note to applicants says.

An applicant to have an electricity connection to the network has been recently told that there wasn’t “sufficient electrical capacity for a new connection” until up to 2035, per the note seen by FT.

The grid constraints in West London have become more acute in recent years as data centers have been built there, and those data centers consume a lot of electricity, according to the GLA.

Utilities and grid operators could take years to upgrade the electricity grid in Greater London, although they have started working on the issue.

A potential years-long delay in new housing developments in London would exacerbate the housing crisis in the UK’s capital city.

Meanwhile, London narrowly avoided a blackout in the eastern part of the city last week, Bloomberg Opinion columnist Javier Blas earlier wrote this week. While the city and much of the UK were reeling from the hottest day on record in Britain, high power demand and a bottleneck on the grid left parts of East London close to blackout. The UK, however, managed to avoid a blackout in London by buying more electricity from Belgium at a mind-blowing price of $11,812 (£9,724) per megawatt hour, which was more than 5,000% higher than the typical price, Bloomberg’s Blas noted.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com


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