National Grid and UK Power Networks are working on a reactive power market trial in the south east – and now seek participants.
The two aim to work out how to maximise flexible resource so that it can help balance both local and national power systems and keep voltage levels stable.
Across the GB network, distribution-transmission co-ordination is becoming increasingly important to mitigate conflicting signals and will become a fundamental component of the smart grid the ESO and DNO/DSOs are trying to build.
The three year Power Potential trial also involves Innogy and kicks off with 10MW of battery storage via via Zenobe’s King Barn scheme in Sussex.
If successful and scalable, National Grid ESO thinks Power Potential could enable another 4GW of capacity in the south east, one of the most constrained parts of the country. If replicable at some 59 sites nationally, it could save some £412 million by 2050 in network reinforcement, according to the ESO’s calculations.
Duncan Burt, former director of operations at the ESO (now heading up COP26 for National Grid), said Power Potential is “a completely new way for the ESO to buy services such as voltage stabilisation in the south coast region”. For UKPN, he said, it is a new way to buy megawatts and to manage voltage for its own network needs.
The two now seek trial participants, asset owners/operators and aggregators that can provide either active power (generated), or reactive power (generated or absorbed). Those that can do both are particularly sought.