NOA Stability Pathfinder - Phase 3 updates

Phase 3 is focused on increasing inertia and short circuit level in England and Wales. Inertia is the mass of the system used to control frequency, while short circuit level is the amount of current that flows on the system during a fault.

As traditional coal and gas plants are phased out from Britain’s energy system, the transmission system inertia and short circuit levels are falling. Renewable generators like wind and solar connect to the grid in a different way, which doesn't provide the network the same stabilising properties. So, we need to find new providers to help support the system.

Stability Phase 3 is the next stage of our NOA Stability Pathfinder.

Pathfinder steps

Step 1 – Identify stability needs across Great Britain – January 2021 to September 2021 (Complete)

The System Operability Framework highlighted the operability risks expected due to the decline in transmission connected synchronous generation over the next decade.

Step 2 – Launch Pre-Tender Information, Launch Expression of Interest (EOI) Period – September 2021 to December 2021 (Complete)

ESO published draft documents for pre-tender consultation; including draft technical specification, draft contract terms, and a connection approach document. This allowed market participants to provide feedback prior to the tender launch. As a result of consultation feedback, tender documents and requirements were revised between the pre-tender consultation and the launch of the tender.

This stage triggered the opening of the window of time for market participants to express their interest in participating in the Stability Phase 3 tender event.

Step 3 – Launch Tender – December 2021 to June 2022 (Complete)

Market participants who expressed their interest of participating in the Stability Phase 3 tender during the EOI Period were invited to the Stability Phase 3 tender stage, where ESO assessed technical and commercial submissions alongside any solutions submitted by Network Operators.

Key tender dates include:

  • Commercial webinar: 11 January 2022 (available to registered tender participants only)
  • Technical webinar: 25 January 2022 (available to registered tender participants only)
  • Final deadline for expressions of interest: 31 January 2022
  • Tender submission deadline 6 June 2022 9:00am

As a result of continuous market engagement during the tender, ESO iterated the tender requirements based on feedback from the market. Market participants should ensure the most recent versions of tender documentation are referred to.

The tender window has now closed and submissions have been received. The ESO has started the tender assessment stage, which will be followed by the sanction and contract award stages later this year. The outcome of the tender will be released publicly after contract award.

Step 4 – Contract Award – November 2022 (In Progress)

Market participants whose tenders are successful will be notified by NGESO, awarded contracts and can begin work developing their solutions.   

Documents and materials