UK utility National Grid is opening up the tender process to allow smaller companies and non-traditional energy storage methods to compete in the grid-scale UK market.
The company is aiming to simplify its suite of balancing services rather than simply tendering for more individual services targeting specific needs, such as Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR).
Last year the company successfully tendered 201MW of EFR in eight projects totalling £65.95m (with an average price of £9.44/MW of EFR/h) to maintain the grid frequency at 50Hz.
This year the company is re-writing the process in a bid to
group together balancing services with similar requirements and make the process of energy distribution more flexible.
The three initial groups will include Frequency Response, Reserve Energy and Standby & Margin categories, although others may be added.
So for example, EFR and firm frequency response (FFR) dynamic and static will be in the general frequency response category; whereas reserve services and demand turn-up will be grouped in the reserve energy section along with STOR runway.
Work on the new proposal is ongoing, with National Grid planning to announce more details in its Electricity Future Operability Strategy document at the end of March.
The proposals are likely to involve a gradual roll out rather than a sudden step change of the policy.
Stewart Larque, head of Regional Media at National Grid, told BBB: “The intention is exactly the opposite to restricting the opportunities to big players – we want to remove complexity and barriers to smaller players and non-traditional technology types, encouraging greater competition for balancing services.
“The aim is to provide more clarity to all potential providers through having fewer but ‘deeper’ services where providers may tender in specific variables such as speed of response or duration. This will allow all assets, including storage, a better route to market than the current suite of products.
“So, in summary, parties providing response in enhanced timescales will still have a route to market but it will be through those deeper balancing service marketplaces rather than ad hoc periodic tender events.”