Four UK distribution network operators have joined together for the first time to provide flexibility providers with a direct path to participate in flexibility on multiple networks.
Western Power Distribution, SP Energy Networks, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and Northern Powergrid have announced they are collaborating on ‘Flexible Power’ to signpost and operate all of their flexibility requirements.
Flex providers will be able to view flexibility locations, requirement data, procurement notices and documentation published by all four DNOs on a single, joint website: www.flexiblepower.co.uk.
Once contracted, providers will be given access to the joint Flexible Power Portal where they will be able to declare their flexible assets’ availability, receive dispatch signals and view performance and settlement reports.
Western Power Distribution’s Operations Director Graham Halladay commented on the background behind the move, “WPD initially created and trialled Flexible Power with funding from Ofgem’s NIA incentive and I’m incredibly proud to see the value of this funding increase through the adoption of Flexible Power by other UK DNOs.”
In January Ofgem said that DNOs must make progress with flexibility this year. Louise van Rensberg, interim deputy director, energy systems transition at Ofgem commented, “You can’t build a business plan if you don’t know how you are going to value flexibility, or compare flexibility to other network solutions.”
This move will be welcomed by many within the industry. The four say that the development is in response to customer feedback calling for a simpler way to engage in the distribution flexibility services market. The collaboration will help streamline the process for flexibility providers and make interfacing with DNOs simpler without the need to liaise with numerous network operators.
The DNOs intend to work in partnership to further develop the Flexible Power brand and develop the portal functionality to enable interface capability with other flexibility platforms so wider market participation options can increasingly be made available to providers.
SP Energy Networks’ head of DSO, Graham Campbell said, “This new ‘one stop shop’ will lower the barriers for market participants and help more providers take part by giving them easy access to consistent information on DNO flexibility needs across the UK from one platform.”