The UK’s transition to net zero by 2050, along with the associated increase in power generated from renewables, is unsurprisingly creating challenges for both grid operators and energy suppliers.
From a grid perspective, volatile weather-dependent generation assets have to be managed to ensure a stable grid at any point in time. At the same time, energy suppliers have to deal with volatile power prices in the short-term markets.
And with an ever-increasing share of renewable generation, these challenges are only increasing. Power prices peaking as high as £2,500/MWh in the UK short-term markets last month provides a clear illustration of this.
Tapping into flexible reserves
One way of tackling these challenges is to increase the amount of flexible, decentralised generation and consumption assets to help balance supply fluctuations. That’s why National Grid ESO is growing ultrafast frequency response services such as its Dynamic Containment scheme.
To help respond to this need – and provide another revenue opportunity for our customers – last week (27 September) we launched an exciting new service to actively participate in National Grid ESO’s Dynamic Containment service.
This allows us to remotely connect, manage and optimise customers’ flexible assets via our central innovative Virtual Power Plant (VPP) platform, which now has a new 4MW battery connected to facilitate the instant response Dynamic Containment requires.
Reducing costs and supporting net zero goals
The VPP has been developed in house and refined using our experience and proven track record of participating in European balancing markets over the past seven years.
It works by remotely steering flexible assets in real time when the grid or the markets call for it, generating additional revenues for asset owners from a range of applications. Furthermore, site constraints such as limited export connections can be managed to make full use of all appropriate assets on a customer’s site.
With these capabilities, we can help our customers to reduce the total cost of asset ownership, as well as supporting them in reaching their own net zero targets – while also playing an active role in the UK’s green energy transition.
Going forward, we are looking to develop further ways to participate in National Grid’s dynamic services, expanding our capabilities for customers to optimise onsite constraint management and cross-service marketing.
A diverse team effort
The Dynamic Containment capability was developed by a team that worked under extraordinary circumstances.
The project involved members of seven different nationalities collaborating across three business units in four different countries. So, it somehow seemed appropriate when the Dynamic Containment service was launched during National Inclusion Week.
With ages ranging from under 30 to over 50 – and educational backgrounds that span engineering, IT, business, mathematics, and science – many team members were also working together for the first time, having come from the previously separate businesses of npower Business Solutions, Innogy and E.ON.
In addition, due to the different locations and Covid-restrictions, the team delivered the project remotely, with key members still not having met face to face.
To find out more about our new Dynamic Containment service – and how it might support your own business – please get in touch with your Client Lead or Account Manager. Or drop us an email to nBS@npower.com
Sofia Amina Rahman
Sofia completed her Master’s degree in Strategy & Finance from the University of Giessen, Germany in 2018. Today, she has over three years of experience in the energy industry, with different roles in the area of business and product development in Europe’s decentral energy markets. As a part of that, she has been the project manager of the Dynamic Containment development project, working closely with stakeholders across the company.