National Grid outlines new footroom service to tackle lockdown lows

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National Grid ESO will go live with a new footroom service from 7 May, paying people to use more power over the summer or to stop exporting it.

While high levels of embedded solar PV have posed challenges for some years, this summer the ESO must manage exceptionally low demand on the transmission system due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The Optional Downward Flexibility Management (ODFM) service requires a minimum 1MW commitment (which can be aggregated if from the same grid supply point) and the ability to deliver for three hours.

Providers cannot be separately registered as balancing mechanism (BM) units, or otherwise active in the BM and they cannot be participating in or contracted to any other balancing/flexibility or related service during periods when the service is offered, per the draft guidance document.

Neither can they be signed up to a DNO’s active network management scheme or flexible connection.

However, aggregators and service providers will welcome Grid’s decision to treat ODFM as an ‘applicable balancing service’. That means, unlike the original Demand Turn Up service launched in 2016, providers will not be exposed to imbalance price risk.

Aggregators suggest that makes it far more likely that people will participate.

Draft details here.

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