National Grid brings forward new technology with Enhanced Frequency Response contracts

Sub-second frequency response contracts awarded to eight providers. Battery storage to be used for balancing services at grid scale for the first time. Use of new technology will result in over £200m of savings

26 Aug 2016

National Grid is responsible for managing energy supply and demand across Great Britain and to do this system frequency must be maintained at 50Hz. The fast changing energy landscape and increasing amount of renewable generation on the system that results in frequency volatility has required National Grid to develop new and innovative ways to manage frequency to ensure that energy keeps flowing to where it is needed.

The Enhanced Frequency Response tender has been developed to bring forward new technologies that support the decarbonisation of the energy industry by providing a fast response solution to system volatility. Previously the fastest frequency response was delivered in under ten seconds, however, a new class of technology means this response can now happen in under a second.

This enhanced ability to control variations in frequency almost immediately will result in reduced costs of approximately 200 million pounds and streamline services to make them as efficient as possible meaning reduced costs for the end consumer.

Bids have been received from 37 providers, the majority of which are from battery assets and of these eight have been accepted, the details of which can be found on the National Grid website. Of the 64 unique sites taking part, 61 are for battery assets, 2 from demand reduction and one from thermal generation. Contracts have been awarded on a four year term giving providers the certainty that they need to develop this technology.

Cordi O’Hara, Director of UK System Operator, National Grid said: ‘We are constantly looking to the future to understand how we can make the most of the energy available to us. This project is at the very core of our Power Responsive work, to balance the Grid by the most efficient means possible, saving money and energy.

‘These awards show that we can work with industry to bring forward new technology and I believe storage has much to contribute to the flexible energy system of tomorrow. This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the industry.’

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Notes for editors

Notes to Editors:

National Grid is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world and was named Responsible Business of the Year 2014 by Business in the Community. This accolade acknowledges all of our efforts in getting involve with the things that really matter to us and to society. We own and manage the grids that connect people to the energy they need, from whatever the source.  In Britain and the north-eastern states of the US we run systems that deliver gas and electricity to millions of people, businesses and communities.

In Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.  In the North Eastern US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles.

National Grid in the UK:

  • We own the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales, operating it across Great Britain
  • We own and operate the high pressure gas transmission system in Britain
  • We also own a number of related businesses including LNG importation, land remediation and metering
  • Our portfolio of other businesses is mainly concerned with infrastructure provision and related services where we can exploit our core skills and assets to create value. These businesses operate in areas such as Metering, Grain LNG Import, Interconnectors and Property. National Grid Carbon Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Grid. It undertakes Carbon Capture Storage related activities on behalf of National Grid.

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