30 Oct 2023

Net zero Utility North West National

Electricity North West announces latest flexibility requirements and opens up more opportunities for participation

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Electricity North West has officially launched its latest flexibility requirements invitation to tender.  

The firm, which operates the power network for the North West, is calling for 413MW of flexibility from 2024-28 across 29 locations, with up to £7m available for the provision of these services.

As the UK embraces a net zero carbon future, the way energy is generated, stored, consumed and traded is changing rapidly, and flexibility services are a smart and efficient way of facilitating this transition.

Flexibility services are procured as an alternative to traditional network reinforcements. This latest tender could save bill payers over £28m by deferring costly reinforcement work.

These services create new revenue streams for companies or individual customers who own assets in requirement zones including generators and battery storage, and consumers who can flex their energy usage at peak times to help manage supply and demand.

In addition to demand turn down and generation turn up flexibility services, Electricity North West also procures energy efficiency measures as part of its tenders. Participants can bid for multiple years of service by installing energy saving measures such as LED lighting, double glazed windows, and switching to more energy efficient appliances and heating systems to reduce their long term energy use. This provides many benefits to both the network operator and flexibility providers whilst supporting the region’s commitment to reaching net zero carbon at the lowest cost to customers.

Following stakeholder feedback gathered from its latest flexibility consultation over the summer period which focused on data sharing, technical requirements, engagement and contracting, Electricity North West made a number of improvements to its procurement process and technical specification to facilitate greater participation. These include:

  • lowering the minimum threshold for participation from 50kW to 10kW per location;
  • removing the annual commercial qualification requirement on PicloFlex,
  • accepting alternative metering granularity such as half hourly metering where minute by minute metering is not possible; and
  • adopting the latest version of the Common Contract (V2.1), as agreed by the Energy Networks Association’s (ENA) Open Networks Project.

Lois Clark, DSO Commercial Manager at Electricity North West said: “We believe that collaborating with our stakeholders is the most effective way to shape our priorities and flexibility market approach.

“Responses to our latest consultation highlighted some key barriers that providers have been facing, so we have implemented changes where possible to demonstrate our commitment to accessibility and simplicity within our service offerings, ensuring equal opportunity for all.

“We look forward to incorporating more of our stakeholder’s valuable input throughout the year as we continue to work together to achieve the common goal of a net zero carbon energy future.”

This tender is being conducted via the PicloFlex platform, and potential providers are encouraged to complete commercial and technical pre-qualification by Friday, 26 January 2024. The bidding window will be open from 12 – 23 February 2024.

The full details of the services required can be found on Latest Requirement- Flexible Services (enwl.co.uk) where indications for the organisation’s requirements spanning the RIIO-ED2 and ED3 periods out to 2033 are also signposted on the interactive flexibility map to offer longer term contracts to providers and strengthen confidence in the North West flexibility market space.

A webinar is being held on Wednesday 8 November from 10:00am-12:00pm to talk through these latest requirements along with updates from the wider Distribution System Operations (DSO) team. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain valuable insights into electricity forecasting for the North West, DSO data publications and how to participate in Electricity North West’s flexibility tenders. Sign up here: DSO Functions: DFES, Data and Flexible Services Tickets, Wed 8 Nov 2023 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

For more information about Electricity North West Flexible Services, please visit Flexibility Hub (enwl.co.uk)