Western Power Distribution opens up the UK’s largest flexibility market

Western Power Distribution (WPD) has published its intention to procure 334MW of demand response services across its network through multiple channels – the largest amount from any UK network operator.

The requirements cover 175 primary substations across one fifth of WPD’s network. To deliver the Energy Network Association’s Flexibility Commitment, WPD is market testing all remaining load-related reinforcement in ED1 to see if the capacity can be provided more economically through flexibility.

Providers of flexibility will be able to use multiple routes to market, including Piclo, Cornwall Local Energy Market and WPD’s Flexible Power.

The 334MW of demand response services is across 42 zones in England and Wales, which all have a need within 2020/21.  WPD has also signposted ongoing needs to 2024/25.

A postcode checker is available to help interested parties determine if they have a suitable site inside these zones and a value calculator has been developed to help estimate anticipated revenue.

Full details of the requirements in each zone have been published on the Flexible Power website, www.flexiblepower.co.uk. The information includes: zone locations, which months each zone needs flexibility, the required availability windows and the MWhs needed to be utilised within each month.

“Our fifth and largest procurement round delivers on our commitment to open our ED1 load related reinforcement requirements up to the market,” said Ben Godfrey, network strategy manager at WPD. “The move to a decarbonized energy system is changing the way we plan and operate our network. Having flexibility in these areas is crucial in enabling us to optimise investment and respond quickly to uncertainty.” 

A procurement timeline has also been published:

  • Jan. 6 – flexibility zones and supporting information published
  • Feb. 3 – Invitation to tender (ITT) issued to all participants who have registered their interest and passed a pre-qualification stage
  • March 13 – ITT deadline
  • April 3 – Procurement results

Potential participants need to register their interest by responding to WPD’s procurement notice which is available here: https://rfxxp.westernpower.co.uk/ECE.

The Flexible Power team will be holding a number of information events to assist interested parties with the process over the course of January and February, including a series of webinars on routes to procurement and a face-to-face Flexibility Surgery.

If you want to be informed of Flexible Power’s activities or if you would like details of its information events you can register for updates at www.flexiblepower.co.uk/contact-us.

For further information: contact the press office at 01332 827172
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