National Grid urges major energy users to provide demand response for winter peak, may pay more


Nat Grid control centreNational Grid has launched a second call for UK firms to stop using power when required next winter in return for payment. It is also considering whether to pay more to firms that can respond between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

The system operator seeks up to a gigawatt of both demand-side response and generation to be available over winter should it be called upon. Following a tender in December, National Grid launched the second tender today and said a third for 2015/16 could follow in the summer.

A spokesperson said Grid was keen for more major energy users to take part in the forthcoming auction, and acknowledged that “a lot of companies don’t know about [demand response opportunities]”.

National Grid flagged that demand response providers could receive a premium if they can guarantee to respond between 4.30pm and 6.30pm as it mulls changes to its procurement methodology to reflect more valuable response.

Most of the reserve capacity procured by auction in December (620MW) will come from generating reserve provided by three power stations (one owned by Corby Power and two owned by Centrica). The remainder will come from demand side balancing reserve, provided by nine different companies across some 350 sites. The demand response capacity contracted in December totaled some 242MW, de-rated to 84MW.

National Grid did not disclose all of the companies that successfully bid for those demand response contracts but it is known that Anglian Water is involved, as is Tata, plus aggregator Flexitricity.

Tenders for the next tranche of both generation reserve and demand side balancing reserve close on 24 April.

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