Image: SP Energy Networks

SP Energy Networks has issued its largest call for flexibility services for Britain’s energy market.

The network operator is looking to procure up to 650MW of flexibility in 40 HV and EHV locations across its licence areas over a five-year period.

In addition, 1,038 LV sites are on offer for 288MW over five years, which brings the full procurement capacity SP Energy Networks is tendering for to over 900MW. The active power requirement is 337MW and reactive power is 9MVAr.

The call is in partnership with Piclo, an independent online marketplace for trading flexibility,

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The sites have been chosen where an increased demand on the network from electric vehicles and heating solutions is predicted, SP Energy Networks says in a statement. These are in southern Scotland, north Wales and the north of England.

“At SP Energy Networks, we are committed to creating a smart, flexible network,” says Graham Campbell, Head of DSO. “Flexibility has a critical role to play and following the success of our last flexibility tender, we’re now taking it to a far larger scale. We are really excited at the scale of this tender.”

Access to flexibility – where the provider pays connected assets such as generators, aggregators and energy storage providers to support the network – will play a crucial role in the transition of the UK network operators to distribution system operators.

The contracts are due to be awarded in December 2020. The long-term contracts will be put in place for the period April 2023 to March 2028.

SP Energy Networks’ last call in October 2019 was for up to 95MW of flexibility for the period 2020 to 2023, although not all contract orders were placed.

Piclo Flex enables the creation of a market for trading flexibility at a local level. Following work with several of the UK network operators, Piclo has recently secured its first international collaboration with the Slovenian electricity transmission system operator ELES. The consortium, which includes the DSOs Elektro Celje, Elektro Gorenjska and Elektro Ljubljana, will pilot the platform to grow the flexibility market in Slovenia.