National Grid ESO - control room

Increasing the transparency of our operational decision making

In our Forward Plan 2020/2021, we committed to providing more clarity and increasing the transparency of our operational decision making.

A key deliverable identified to support this goal is the sharing of the Dispatch Transparency dataset which outlines the costs of the decisions made by our control room engineers. 

Everyday our electricity national control centre takes hundreds if not thousands of decisions to keep balancing the GB electricity system. 

To make sure we can deliver on our core requirement to deliver an economic and secure network, our engineers have to make sure they minimise the costs of these actions, aiming to always select the most efficient option. 

The launch of our Dispatch Transparency dataset will give the industry more clarity on how we make decisions about which options we take to balance the grid. 

It’s important to recognise that no action on the system is ever taken in isolation. All the actions taken help to optimise the suite of operability challenges on the system at any time and over the course of the day. For example our engineers continuously manage electricity system characteristics such as frequency or voltage to ensure we remain within legal limits  – it's a complex balancing act that requires constant attention. 

The Dispatch Transparency data seeks to make these decisions visible, so that market participants can understand more clearly why particular actions have been taken, particularly when it appears that a lower cost option may have been available. 

We have invested significant time in developing, testing and validating a tool which will analyse data for every action taken each day and look for all the alternative actions available. This tool will categorise the actions taken and provide additional insight into why alternative actions may not have been a suitable option.  

We have robust systems in place for balancing the system and we’re committed to constantly improving our decision making. 

Find and explore the dataset on our Data Portal