National Grid to tender for 200MW of superfast balancing services next month


cheeetahNational Grid will invite tenders for its new superfast frequency response service on 15 April. The system operator seeks an initial 200MW, but sees the service as an enduring regime as the UK power system continues to lose inertia.

Technical details of the Enhanced Frequency Response service – which requires sub-second responses to deviations from the power systems standard 50Hz to prevent faults – are being fine-tuned. However, National Grid has published further details.

Successful bidders will receive four year contracts, which National Grid believes strikes a balance between risk and reward for those looking to own and operate assets, which in the main are likely to be batteries. However, the auction is technology-neutral. Interconnectors, other forms of energy storage and even aggregated domestic batteries will not be prevented from making a bid, provided they meet the 1MW minimum requirement, can connect to Grid’s systems and have the relevant data.

How those assets will impact distribution networks, and what the implications may be for operators’ connection agreements is something the national and local grid operators are set to thrash out.

National Grid is also set to broaden the scope of Enhanced Frequency Response so that its definition also covers primary and secondary response. While the system operator originally mooted a 9 second minimum response duration, that may now be extended. National Grid says it may also develop in parallel another service for short duration, fast-response characteristics for post-fault frequency control.

Publishing proposed timelines for the EFR service, alongside an FAQ document, National Grid also outlines tender criteria, how performance failures will affect payments, and how service providers may work with other balancing mechanisms.

See the FAQ, timeline and other Enhanced Frequency Response details here.

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