Our engineers and experts work around the clock to make sure that the right amount of electricity gets to where it’s needed, when it’s needed.
At the ESO’s Electricity National Control Centre (ENCC), we look 24 hours ahead to make sure we have accurate, constant forecasts and responses to consumer demand. Our teams work on shift patterns with timescales roughly broken into 24-hour, 12-hour and 4-hour intervals.
Over a course of a day, what do we get done in the ENCC?
More than 24 hours ahead
First, there’s the demand forecasting team, whose primary purpose is to work out the demand forecast for the day and feed this into the control room.
To schedule generation on the system – that is, whether to remove or add electricity to the mix – we need to match supply with demand. The closer we get to real time, the more important it is to make sure that match is as accurate as possible to keep the frequency stable.
The demand forecasting team begins by looking at demand weeks in advance. As we get closer to real time, the team begins to refine these forecasts up to 24 hours before real time electricity dispatch.
24 to 4 hours ahead
Our strategy team looks 24 to four hours ahead of real time dispatch. They identify plans for how the network will run, including what circuits are or are not available. They also look at what generation is available to match the real-time demand.
4 hours ahead to real time
The energy team is the team that carries out the actual electricity dispatch, or the minute-by-minute and second-by-second balancing of electricity supply and demand. They’re in charge of real-time scheduling on the system, working four hours ahead to real time. This team relies on the planning of all ENCC teams before them for an accurate view.