The PARCA allows you to reserve capacity, but it does not provide you with a connection to the National Transmission System (NTS). If you need a new connection to the NTS, or a modification to an existing NTS connection, you will need to go through the application to offer (A2O) process.
The A2O process can take up to three years from application to the construction of the physical connection. As the capacity process (PARCA) and the connection (A2O) processes are separate, you have the flexibility to initiate these two processes at your discretion.
How a PARCA works
Initially, a customer will submit a PARCA application requesting the capacity they need. We will use the information provided in the PARCA application to determine how and when the capacity requested can be delivered.
An important aspect of the PARCA arrangement is that it helps the customer and National Grid to progress their own projects in parallel. It also assures the customer that capacity has been reserved with the option to buy it later. The financial commitment to the capacity (allocation of capacity) itself is required only once the customer and National Grid are relatively sure that their projects will go ahead.
The connection and capacity processes are separate, but they can become dependent on each other. To prevent stranded capacity, we won't allocate reserved capacity if a new or modified connection is required, unless a full connection offer (FCO) has been reached and accepted. Typically, it can take between 6-12 months to receive and sign an FCO, so the A2O process (if required) needs to be started at least 12 months before the capacity allocation date defined in the PARCA contract.
The timescales associated with the PARCA process may be up to seven years from application to the physical build of any capacity where required, depending on project timescales and our delivery of the capacity.