World’s first of its kind flexible energy procurement project


UK energy transmission system operator National Grid ESO has partnered with distribution grid operator Western Power Distribution to pilot the world’s first of its kind demand-side response mechanism.

Western Power Distribution and National Grid are testing coordinated flexible energy procurement by using the same platform, Centrica’s Local Energy Market (LEM).

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Demand response
Western Power Distribution

Consumers in Cornwall and distributed energy generators will be able to sell electricity through the virtual energy marketplace.

Participants will be paid for reducing their energy usage during times when demand on the main grid is high. In addition, consumers will be able to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprints as well as play a role in the energy transition.

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The network operators will be able to indicate when they will need an increase or decrease in generation or consumption to balance the grid or manage a local network constraint.

The project is part of efforts by National Grid to expand its portfolio of demand response.

Demand response is a hot topic being discussed at this year’s European Utility Week and POWERGEN EUROPE conference. Click here to watch more videos or to read more news coming out of the conference.

Colm Murphy, Electricity Market Change Development Manager, said: “Exploring the provision of flexibility through a local energy market is a first for us and even though we’re in the early stages of the trial, we’re looking forward to evaluating the results.

“In particular we’re keen to understand how flexibility can be procured efficiently and cost-effectively between different markets. The potential is really exciting as we look to unlock more flexible energy resources in the market, and greater cost benefits to consumers.

“As we move towards our 2025 ambition of being able to operate the GB electricity system carbon-free we are seeing more renewable generation come online – such as wind and solar – which in turn requires increased flexibility to balance the grid. Initiatives such as this help us deliver secure, sustainable and affordable electricity – softening peaks in demand and filling in the troughs, especially at times when more power is available and it’s cleaner too.”

Mark Futyan/Dan Nicholls, Centrica, said: “This is a milestone moment for the energy network and comes as the result of several years of hard work by the team at Centrica and as well as our partners at National Grid, WPD, N-SIDE, Exeter University and Imperial College London.

For more detail on National Grid ESO’s work on Demand Side Response please click here