UK Power Networks is calling on energy resources to offer their services to support the distribution network during periods of high electricity demand. Until now, such contracts were used to support the national power system, and rarely on the local network.
The new flexibility services contracts are expected to have three key benefits:
The company, which delivers electricity to more than eight million homes and businesses, is inviting expressions of interest from distributed energy operators capable of increasing generation or reducing consumption on request at the ten locations across the network it has identified with a potential need.
The flexibility programme is a major step towards becoming a Distribution System Operator (DSO), which involves transitioning from a passive network manager to one providing active, market-focused services for customers. UK Power Networks consulted with market participants on the design of the flexibility services in July 2017, aiming to create a product that enables all technologies to participate.
UK Power Networks Director of Asset Management, Barry Hatton, said that the service underlined how UK Power Networks was leading the way in preparing distribution networks for the future.
He said: “The way we generate, distribute and consume electricity is changing and we are making sure that UK Power Networks is in a great place to make the most of the opportunities this transformation offers.
“Flexibility shows that we are not just talking about what the future holds for distribution networks, but we are delivering on it. This important new service offers a new route to market for distributed energy resources and we are looking forward to hearing expressions of interest from the market.
“In our recently launched Future Smart strategy, using customer flexibility is identified as one of our five key DSO strategic priorities.”