National Grid plots superfast grid balancing service, four year contracts for storage providers


jengaNational Grid is planning a grid balancing service an order of magnitude faster than current operations. The system operator seeks expressions of interest from firms that can provide full frequency response in less than a second in return for payment.

The fastest of current Frequency Response services require equipment to deliver full power output within ten seconds when power system frequency deviates from 50Hz.

Under Enhanced Frequency Response, full power output will be necessary in under a second and delivery must be sustained for at least 9 seconds.

The service is intended to stabilise the system prior to faults occurring. National Grid intends to award four year contracts for service provision via a tender and seeks expressions of interest from energy storage providers and other technology providers that can meet the parameters.

As well as technical parameters, National Grid states that any proposed solution must be able to self-fund its development and must be fully operational by July 2017.

Earlier this year National Grid announced a major push for demand response activity, stating that it aimed to achieve 30-50% of system balancing via demand side measures by 2020. That target suggests a significant change of tack from an organisation historically reliant on larger power stations for balancing services.

As a general rule, the faster the response, the more companies that provide it get paid.

The deadline for submission of expressions of interest is 23 October 2015. National Grid intends to run the tender exercise in December.

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