How could energy storage help manage constraints?

We're inviting comments on our proposal for a technical feasibility assessment on how energy storage could help manage constraints on the electricity transmission network between 2022-2030.

In February we launched a Constraint Management 5-Point Plan of measures to mitigate the expected increase in constraint costs. As part of this plan, the ESO wants to explore the technical feasibility of energy storage having a significant role in reducing network constraint costs between now and 2030.

To answer this question, the ESO is looking for a technical consultancy to carry out some modelling work into how energy storage could help manage network constraints. Interested parties are invited to submit an Expression of Interest before 10th June 2020. 

Energy Storage Technical Feasibility Assessment

In addition to this Request for Information, we are inviting the wider industry to comment on the Draft Scope of Work, before considering proposals from technical consultancies to deliver the project.

What are electricity network constraints?

As the system operator one of our roles is to make sure that the physical flows on the system stay within the capability of the transmission network. Flows on the network are initially determined by energy markets. When more electricity wishes to flow over a circuit than is permitted this is known as a constraint.

The ESO manages these constraints by taking actions - by paying generators (or demand) in different locations to change their output (or consumption), thus changing the flow on the network. The amount the ESO pays network users to manage constraints in this way is known as the constraint cost.

As the electricity system decarbonises these constraint costs are expected to rise significantly, particularly between now and 2030, as renewable generation connects faster than new transmission capacity can be built. After 2030 planned increases in transmission network capacity are expected to significantly reduce the level of constraints.

How can you get involved?

Details of the project and each package of work can be found on the project page. This is a draft version that has been published for feedback and comments from the industry (deadline to receive comments will be by 5pm on 10th June 2021).

We are also hosting a webinar on 26th May between 1-2pm (BST) to give details about this project and how technical consultancies and the wider industry can get involved.

We expect to be able to share recommendations from the analysis, including areas such as technical feasibility and cost benefits, in early 2022.