Image: National grid ESO

The system operator’s ability to respond rapidly to flow disturbances on the grid is enhanced with the fast dynamic containment frequency response service.

National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) launched the new sub-second, post-fault response capability with two battery energy storage units to provide 90MW of fast response service over 24 hours, selected from six tenders.

The first phase sees National Grid ESO running tenders for dynamic containment seven days a week, procuring from 11pm-11pm, moving the frequency response market closer to real-time.

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Initially 500MW of low frequency response will be bought from providers, which is set to evolve to 1GW next year and to include high frequency response. All technology types can participate, with batteries anticipated to make up the majority of providers in the early phase while the service is being developed.

“Dynamic containment will be a game-changer,” states Ro Quinn, head of national control and chief engineer at National Grid ESO. “The boost the new service will bring to our frequency response capability will further strengthen the system and our ability to maintain a safe and secure electricity supply. It will also allow us to bring more renewable generation into the electricity mix.”

Dynamic containment is the first in a suite of new fast acting frequency services to be introduced by the ESO to maintain the system close to the required 50Hz.

Dynamic moderation and dynamic regulation products will complete the suite later. The former will be designed to manage sudden frequency imbalances in intermittent generation, such as gusting winds, and the latter to manage small deviations when the frequency is close to 50Hz.

Rapid and real-time management of frequency is becoming increasingly important in systems with more renewable generation and less inbuilt inertia.

The dynamic product suite’s frequency response capability will complement the ESO’s pathfinder grid stability initiative, which is finding new ways to provide inertia without relying on it as a by-product of electricity generation through fossil fuel plants.

For the present, dynamic containment will sit alongside the ESO’s existing frequency products for now, rather than replacing any.