CREATING jobs in parts of Dorset could involve joining a lengthy queue for connection to power supplies.

In some areas there is a wait until 2036 for connection to the grid with businesses being asked to fork out up to £200,000 in deposits up to twelve years in advance if they want to secure a connection.

Some of the county’s industrial estates are already at capacity and in some areas householders wanting a connection for electric car charge points are also having to wait.

A report says unless something is done urgently to tackle the problems a lack of  power will stifle the local economy and hamper attempts to create jobs.

Dorset councillors are being told that the power supply system seems to lack an adequate means of foreseeing where need is likely to be and, even when it does, is slow to implement improvements.

On the plus side Dorset Council say the network suppliers are now more willing than ever to co-operate with local councils to resolve the shortfalls.

Problem areas for supply in the Dorset Council area are said to include – Bridport St Michael’s and the Dreadnought industrial estates; Gillingham, Brickfields; Sturminster Newton, North Dorset Business Park and supply to the town;  Weymouth/Chickerell, Granby Industrial Estate; Dorchester, Grove Industrial Estate; Portland Port; Winfrith/Wool, Dorset Innovation Park and Holton Heath Trading Park.

Some of these could be resolved by upgrades to national grid 'inject' points at Mannington and Chickerell.

A report to councillors says on the power supply issues: “Grid constraints are a drag on decarbonisation, economic growth and development.

"In some cases, projects that are seeking to connect to the grid are being offered connection dates as late as 2036. Consequently, it is causing costs and delays, and in some cases impairing project viability entirely… “The challenge cannot be understated: grid constraints are now commonly cited as the single biggest barrier to decarbonising power. But if unaddressed its strategic significance is broader, presenting a drag not just on decarbonisation and energy security, but also on business expansion, development, investment and economic growth. Solving it, however, could unleash benefits for households, communities and the economy alike.”

A council task and finish group, looking at the problems, led by Wimborne councillor, Shane Bartlett, found wide-ranging supply issues including problems in identifying what should be priority projects, delays caused by access issues and a lack of clarity over costs,  all of which, for many, was becoming a dis-incentive for investing in new projects.

Cllr Bartlett’s group said Dorset Council might be able to help by not only lobbying for improvements and investment but also in identifying the local need for network investment, forging better links with network operators and improving strategic planning of the network both at regional and local scale.

Said one of the report’s conclusions: “Energy infrastructure needs to be seen through the same lens as other strategic infrastructure, with investment better aligned to local knowledge, ambition and decision-making. Our ambitions for net zero, development and economic growth will therefore require us to play a much more central role in local energy planning in the future – and strengthening our collaboration with energy networks will be essential for this.”