The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has given the green light for public sector procurement of demand-side response (DSR) services from six providers.
Centrica, EDF, Endeco, Enernoc, Flexitricity and Limejump will vye to provide DSR services to the public sector. CCS manages in the region of £2.3bn annual spend on utilities and fuels.
Ameresco and Kiwi Power, along with Flexitricity, were providers for the previous agreement, which has now ended.
The new framework runs for three years with the option of a one year extension. CCS said it means reduced timescales for public procurement of DSR: Instead of running a full OJEU procurement, buyers – government, public and third sector organisations – now just need to identify their requirements, present them to the market and award a contract to the perceived best bid.
While in reality, the work involved bringing megawatts into UK system balancing is somewhat more complex, the agreement is intended to give buyers some comfort that their supplier meets minimum qualification criteria. These include:
- Minimum insurance coverage
- Cybersecurity certification
- Quality accreditation (ISO 9001)
- Environment certification (ISO 14001)
- Pricing transparency
- Reference customers
- Anti-slavery act compliance
The new supplier group must provide access to at least one or more of the following schemes:
- Short term operating reserve
- Firm frequency response
- Frequency control by demand management
- Capacity market
- Demand turn up
They will also be tasked with reducing peak network charges, both transmission (Triad) and distribution (DUoS red bands).
Speaking at National Grid’s Power Responsive conference last year, Crown Commercial Estate interim head of utilities, Julie Braidwood, suggested significant balancing potential may be extracted from the public estate.
“We are looking to increase the DSR we have contracted as much as possible,” says Braidwood. “There is a huge opportunity within the public sector estate.”
However, she acknowledged the significant challenge of bringing together multiple stakeholders, particularly in critical environments such as the NHS.
See details of the framework agreement here.