Gridbeyond and Electricity North West’s commercial arm will jointly market and implement demand-side response (DSR) services to some 900 large industrial and commercial companies.
ENW Commercial and Maintenance is the non-regulated part of the distribution network operator’s business. It provides high and medium voltage services to the biggest companies in the north west, for example, maintaining on-site substations and installing and managing high voltage rings or private wires.
Distribution network operators (DNOs) are starting to procure flexibility services to manage constraints on their networks. As such, the partnership could bring more demand-side response into play both at distribution level and into national ancillary services, as well as wholesale and balancing markets.
“The more businesses we can work with to deliver enhanced energy services, the closer we are to an innovative and participative electricity system that provides value to the industrial, commercial and public sector while and improving security of electricity supply nationally,” said Gridbeyond UK managing director, Wayne Muncaster.
Mark Williamson, energy solutions director at Electricity North West, said the DNO had not historically helped its large customers access flexibility markets and products, but will now.
The move comes as Ofgem confirmed plans to scrap Triad (evening winter peak charging methodology, which large companies have traditionally used to cut electricity bills by switching to onsite generation or reducing demand) early next decade.
The upshot of charging reforms is that more large companies will have to find other ways of cutting their power bills, such as by contracting with DNOs to help balance local grids, or with suppliers to arbitrage wholesale market peaks and troughs.
While posing a challenge for firms that have become accustomed the current arrangements, regulatory change will hammer home the need to take a year round approach to demand management and flexibility, suppliers and aggregators suggest.