UK network operators collaborate on new DER route to market

UK network operators collaborate on new DER route to market
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National Grid ESO, UK Power Networks (UKPN) and National Grid Electricity Distribution (NGED) have announced a collaboration to deliver a new route to market for Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) while unlocking capacity for them to connect to the network.

The new DER-specific ancillary service ‘MW Dispatch Service’ will support the management of transmission network constraints, by extending the options available to the ESO’s control room beyond those generators currently operating in the Balancing Mechanism.

With the support of the UK Power Networks and NGED control rooms, the ESO will be able to instruct these DER units to reduce their output at times of system constraint, enabling DERs to receive constraint payments for the electricity they would have otherwise generated.

The service will provide a cheaper alternative to the existing constraint management process used within the balancing mechanism, helping to reduce costs for consumers.

UKPN and NGED are in the process of signing up customers to participate in this service which will start to operate over the coming months.

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This will involve developing technical capabilities that will enable the distribution companies to coordinate and exchange data with the ESO while being able to dispatch the generators when there is a constraint in the transmission network.

In a release announcing the collaboration, Claire Dykta, head of markets for ESO, commented, “Collaboration across networks is helping us to unlock new solutions to manage the network of the future. Alongside other steps on our Markets Roadmap, the MW Dispatch Service is unlocking new tools to deliver long-term management of constraint costs and to deliver new service options for distributed assets.”

Added Ben Godfrey, director of DSO at National Grid Electricity Distribution: “Through the MW Dispatch project, we are providing the ESO with unparalleled visibility of new DERs connecting to our network, and the ability to manage constraints on the transmission network in a more efficient manner.

“This, alongside wider industry reform work, will enable us to accelerate over 2GW of additional generation connection offers in the South West. This collaborative approach, and the underlying capabilities are now being scaled up across the UK to help us alleviate wider constraints at the transmission/distribution boundary and connect more renewable generation to the network.”