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National Grid to extend demand turn-up running hours, procure more

Nat Grid control centreNational Grid will extend the period for its demand turn-up (DTU) service to run from March to October. The system operator (SO) has also confirmed it aims to broadly double the 300MW it procured in 2016 and will provide two routes to market for providers.

Meanwhile, the system operator has also lowered the minimum clip size for those participating in Firm Frequency Response (FFR) to 1MW.

While most forms of balancing ask demand-side firms and power stations to adjust output or production when there is a shortage of power, DTU aims to help balance the system when there is too much power to handle. National Grid says that is a growing challenge. The system operator therefore launched a DTU trial to run between May and September last year, during which 10,800MWh of response was called into action.

Initial procurement for next year’s service will started in February. However, after the first trial with distribution network operator (DNO) Western Power Distribution, the SO and the DNO have outlined plans to tweak the bid process and payments structure.

Providers can bid for ‘fixed’ DTU contracts in February, which lock in prices for their availability throughout summer. However, they can also bid for ‘flexible’ DTU contracts on an ongoing basis every Friday and Tuesday between 27 March and 29 October. Providers can submit different availabilities within the same availability window, so can declare themselves available for parts of the windows and unavailable for others.

Meanwhile, although the minimum clip size for providers will remain 1MW, it will now be less constrained by location – so aggregators do not have to find that megawatt within the same grid supply point.

National Grid has previously indicated it would look to procure much more DTU in 2017. A Grid spokesperson confirmed that to The Energyst, saying “it is likely to double”.

See the summary of DTU trial and service changes here.

Additionally, National Grid confirmed in December that the entry threshold for Firm Frequency Response (FFR) providers would fall from 10MW to 1MW as of April 2017.

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