Key balancing service procurement moves closer to real-time

Daily STOR auctions will help increase competition in the market and lower costs for consumers

National Grid ESO is procuring Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) on a daily basis from today, a key milestone in complying with the Clean Energy Package (CEP) and bringing balancing markets closer to real-time.

Over 200 STOR units with a volume of 6.5GW pre-qualified to participate in the daily auction process, with 28 separate companies amounting to 2,918MW taking part in the opening auction this morning.

The requirements of the service – which was previously bought three times a year – remain unchanged, with a 3MW minimum volume and response time of within 20 minutes.

ESO is looking to procure 1,300MW every day, through daily auctions run at 5am.

Find out the latest STOR day ahead auction results

STOR is a key balancing service in ESO’s toolbox, normally acting after fast response services to provide an extra source of power in short bursts if supply and demand of electricity is out of balance.

The move to daily procurement of STOR has seen the development of an auction platform which enables providers to submit their bids up to eight days ahead of delivery.

This will help encourage greater participation, increased competition and lower costs for consumers

It’s anticipated that moving procurement of balancing services like STOR closer to real-time will help enable greater participation in the service, increasing competition and driving down costs for consumers.

A small number of existing firm long-term STOR contracts will remain in place to 2025, but from today all other STOR requirements will be bought through the daily auctions.

Last year ESO also debuted its rapid response dynamic containment service with a daily procurement arrangement, moving the frequency response market closer to real-time.

Comprehensive guidance and training materials are available for STOR providers taking part in the new daily auction, with further details on the STOR web pages.