We are a separate company

On 1 April the Electricity System Operator became a legally separate company within the National Grid Group. Find out more about what this change means.

Our technical solution

The Power Potential project offers opportunities for distributed energy resources (DER) to provide new services to the electricity transmission system. To enable this to happen, a novel Distributed Energy Resources Management System (DERMS) is being developed. It will facilitate the communication between DER connected to UK Power Networks and National Grid. 

An overview of the DERMS process

A purple illustration outlining how DERMS work in a National Grid context

Services provided through Power Potential via DERMS

Two different services can be provided by DER through Power Potential: active power and reactive power services.

Instructions for active power and reactive power are sent from UK Power Networks to DER generators via the DERMS. This is to provide required transmission services to National Grid. This occurs when National Grid ask to receive services from the distribution network, via the DERMS.

Active power services

DER generators would be instructed to an active power (MW) set-point for the active power service. This service is expected to help improve the management of system constraints.

Reactive Power services

DER generators would be instructed using voltage droop control for the reactive power service to produce/absorb reactive power (Mvars). This production/absorption of reactive power would allow more effective control of the voltage in the transmission system.

What is voltage droop control?

The reactive power exported by the DER is controlled based on a voltage target and a reactive power slope, also known as voltage droop control. Under the reactive power service, DER will follow a voltage droop control scheme to regulate their terminal bus bar voltage in order to provide reactive power support.

The droop control concept is illustrated below. A change between the measured voltage and the desired voltage target at the DER point of connection will translate in a reactive power injection from the DER. This is proportional to this voltage difference.

Example of DERs providing reactive power service using a voltage droop control characteristic:

Diagram of DERs providing reactive power service using a voltage droop control characteristic

The DERMS developer

ZIV Automation are developing our Power Potential platform following their success in our procurement exercise, which concluded in April 2017. They will be the DERMS vendor and provide the technical delivery of the Power Potential solution. ZIV Automation have extensive experience in providing SMART GRID Solutions worldwide, reflecting their unique knowledge in areas of protection, control, communication and metering technologies.