New Ancillary Service for Distributed Energy announced by ESO and DNOs
9 Aug 2023 - 3 minute read
- Network organisations are finding ways to unlock more capacity with smart technology
- The MW Dispatch Service will support the management of transmission network constraints, by enabling Distribution Network generators and batteries to play an active role in local constraint management
- Capacity reallocation using the technology enabled by MW Dispatch will enable the acceleration of over 7.3GW and 500 connections in the Southwest, South Wales, South Eastern Region and the Midlands
- A more inclusive and potentially cheaper to implement service than the Balancing Mechanism, MW Dispatch Service will extend the options available to the ESO’s control room
Collaboration between the ESO, UK Power Networks and National Grid Electricity Distribution (NGED), is delivering a new route to market for Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) the smaller electricity generators connected to Distribution Networks up and down the country while unlocking capacity for them to connect to the network.
The new DER specific ancillary service “MW Dispatch Service” will support the management of transmission network constraints, by extending the options available to the ESO’s control room beyond those generators currently operating in the Balancing Mechanism. With the support of the UK Power Networks and NGED control rooms, the ESO will be able to instruct these DER units to reduce their output at times of system constraint, enabling DERs to receive constraint payments for the electricity they would have otherwise generated.
Consumers will also reap the benefits of this new service, as it will provide a cheaper alternative to the existing constraint management process used within the balancing mechanism, helping to reduce costs for consumers.
UKPN and National Grid Electricity Distribution are in the process of signing up customers to participate in this service which will start to operate over the coming months. This will also involve developing technical capabilities as part of the new Distribution System Operator function that will enable the distribution companies to coordinate and exchange data with the ESO while being able to dispatch the generators when there is a constraint in the transmission network.
Claire Dykta, Head of Markets ESO
“Collaboration across networks is helping us to unlock new solutions to manage the network of the future. Alongside other steps on our Markets Roadmap, the MW Dispatch Service is unlocking new tools to deliver long-term management of constraint costs and to deliver new service options for distributed assets.”
Sotiris Georgiopoulos, Director of DSO at UK Power Networks
“Collaboration between networks and the ESO has been fundamental to enabling this new service. It means over 1GW of generation and batteries can connect to our network faster and at lower cost because we’ve come together to tackle this challenge head-on and benefit our customers in the South Eastern region. The success of this collaboration is down to data sharing and coordination protocols that we have all worked on together, and also through the Electricity Networks Association’s Open Networks project. It’s an important step to see that our joint work being deployed and delivering benefits to customers”
Ben Godfrey, Director of DSO at National Grid Electricity Distribution
“Through the MW Dispatch project, we are providing the ESO with unparalleled visibility of new DERs connecting to our network, and the ability to manage constraints on the transmission network in a more efficient manner. This, alongside wider industry reform work, will enable us to accelerate over 2GW of additional generation connection offers in the South West. This collaborative approach, and the underlying capabilities are now being scaled up across the UK to help us alleviate wider constraints at the transmission/distribution boundary and connect more renewable generation to the network.”