A smart, flexible system that makes the best use of all the energy resources available will enable us to meet our customers’ needs in a balanced, efficient and economical way.

Our aim is to create balancing services markets that meet our changing system needs, and in which all technology types can compete on a level playing field. To achieve this, we will:

  • provide market information that plainly sets out our needs;

  • simplify our products to create transparency; and

  • ensure routes to market for all participants.

We will publish updates on services and system needs via this page. We are keen to understand your views. You can get in touch with us to provide your thoughts and feedback at [email protected]. If you would like to be kept informed, please sign up to the mailing list using the link on the right.  

Key documents

Operability Strategy Report

Update - December 2022

We have updated our Operability Strategy Report which outlines the future operational challenges we face, driven by decarbonisation of the electricity system. It defines the operational requirements, future system needs, and capabilities required to enable a zero carbon electricity system by 2035. It also covers our progress towards meeting our ambition to be able to operate the network using 100% zero carbon electricity by 2025.

Download the Operability Strategy Report 2023

Flexibility from Intermittent Generation

March 2020

In this report we provide an overview of our current markets and the barriers that we are aware exist for intermittent generation types, along with the work that we are doing to increase access to our markets for this specific technology group. With these enablers we hope to increase competition, unlock consumer value and facilitate open and transparent markets. These are some of the deliverables that we have committed to as part of the ESO Forward Plan, and we will be continuing to report progress through the monthly and quarterly Forward Plan progress reports.

Download the Wider Strategy for Flexibility from Intermittent Generation 

Response and Reserve Roadmap

December 2019

This document updates our plans for the reform of our frequency response and reserve services.  It is our priority to reform the design of these services to ensure that they are capable of supporting the operation of the electricity system carbon-free by 2025. This document gives an update on the progress made since the publication of our 2017 System Needs and Product Strategy (SNaPS) document, the service-specific roadmaps, the ESO Forward Plan and initial publications on the service designs. 

Download the Response and Reserve Roadmap 2019

Reserve reform archive

We are pleased to share a summary of our proposed product and service design for two new Slow Reserve products - Positive Slow Reserve and Negative Slow Reserve. There are still some areas of the services which we would like to seek your input on and will do so through our series of Show & Listen events.

Slow Reserve Service Summary - April 22

Slow Reserve Proforma

Reserve Reform Show & Listen 1 Slides - 28 April 2022

Reserve Reform Show & Listen 2 Slides - 26 May 2022

Reserve Reform Show & Listen 3 Slides - 23 June 2022

Reserve Reform Q&A

Update - 25 February 2022

On 25 February, we shared an update on Reserve Reform project delivery. We will not be launching Negative Slow Reserve directly after Dynamic Moderation in Summer 2022, and instead we will be taking the time to further engage with industry to identify the optimum approach to deliver the new reserve products.

Link to the full project delivery update here

Update – 14 September 2021

Following the co-creation workshops and an internal challenge and review process, we will deliver Negative Slow Reserve as the first service in the new suite of Reserve products. This update summarises the progress made thus far on Negative Slow Reserve and provides an update on other Reserve services.

Reserve Reform Product & Service Design

Update - 4 March 2021

We are co-creating the new reserve product suite with the industry, and this consultation aims to gather industry views on initial product designs which have been based on feedback from the industry workshop on 9 December 2020. 

Reserve product reform consultation


Upcoming events

Industry workshop for Phase 1 Quick Reserve

To be held on 1 February 2024, 14:00-15:30. 

Download the slides


Past events

Reserve Reform update webinar 19 December 2023

Following the webinar held on 19 December 2023, we have shared the slides and a recording of the webinar.

Watch the webinar

Download the slides

Download the Q&A

Frequency Response Reform: market insights and procurement webinar 26 May 2022

Following the webinar held on 26 May 2022, we have shared the slides and a recording of the webinar.

Watch the webinar

Download the slides

Download the webinar Q&A

Response Reform webinar 5 May 2021

Following the webinar held on 29 April 2021, we have shared the slides and a recording of the webinar, together with an FAQ document covering questions asked during the session. We have also published the feedback we received on the Dynamic Moderation and Dynamic Regulation service design. 

Watch the webinar 

Download the slides

Download the FAQs

Download the feedback

Future of Reactive Power 26 April 2021

Following the webinar held on 31 March 2021, the Q&A document has now been published.

Watch the webinar recording

Future of Reactive Power webinar slides- Mar 21

Future of Reactive Power webinar slides- Dec 20

Reserve Reform

Update - 18 December 2020

The Reserve Reform project aims to deliver a standardised suite of upward and downward reserve product(s) that work holistically with new frequency response products and reserve replacement products (TERRE and MARI) and can be procured at day ahead through an auction held on the Single Market Platform from March 2022.

We are co-creating this product with industry and hosted a workshop on the 9 December 2020 to communicate the need for reserve, and the ESO’s drivers when designing a product suite and market. We also wanted to understand the industry’s needs and drivers​, share ideas to facilitate co-creation of a new reserve product suite and identify common themes and areas for further investigation.

You can view the slide deck and feedback on the four topics from the workshop below:

Response and Reserve Reform webinar slides - November 2021

Dispatch and communication feedback

Market design feedback

Performance Monitoring and Prequalification feedback

Product Design feedback

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Read our May 2024 update.