Following an expression of interest call launched this month, network operator UK Power Networks (UKPN) will invite firms to tender early October.
UKPN, the DNO which delivers power to over eight million customers, is calling on businesses to offer their services to support the distribution network during periods of high electricity demand.
The need for grid flexibility
UKPN is looking for assets that can increase exports (generate) or reduce imports (consume less) at times of high electricity demand. It will award both availability and utilisation payments and has specific volume requirements in 10 specific locations on the network where flexibility will be of great benefit to the network as a whole. Such contracts used to support the national power system and rarely on the local network.
The minimum clip size for providers is 500kW of flexibility, which can be aggregated across multiple sites, in order to manage grid constraint issues in Suffolk, London and the South East. However, the firm said it will “consider contracting directly with smaller sized resources depending on the characteristics of flexibility in each area”.
Beginning its transition to DSO, UKPN outlines a need for 37.6MW of flexibility in 2018/19, over 40MW the following year and a further 30MW in 2020/21.
Delivery is required for between two hours and five hours to manage evening peaks in some locations, and morning and evening peaks in others.
New route to market for distributed energy
Barry Hatton, UKPN Director of Asset Management 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.”