National Grid calls time on Demand-Side Balancing Reserve


moneyNational Grid will not procure further reserve services from demand-side response providers via the Demand-Side Balancing Reserve (DSBR).

In a notice to stakeholders, Cathy McClay, head of commercial operations at National Grid, said the system operator had analysed the bids from a tender for the service in June and concluded that “minimal volume would have been available over the period”.

DSBR is a transitional arrangement designed to ensure adequate winter capacity. It was created alongside Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR), which pays coal power stations to be available if needed. Ahead of the capacity mechanism coming into play, SBR represents most of the 5% peak headroom Grid estimates is available to the power system heading into winter.

Demand-side response aggregators have said that the DSBR programme had merits, in terms of bringing forward new providers of demand-side response via a relatively simple programme.

However, they have also criticised National Grid for running the SBR tender before the DSBR tender, rather than running them in parallel. They suggest that National Grid thereby picked technology winners and secured extra capacity at a higher price than necessary.

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