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Arenko helps manage 950MW Clap for Carers pickup

Image: Ian Taylor.

Image: Ian Taylor.

The UK saw a surge in energy demand last Thursday as people went inside after Clapping for Carers.

Just after 8pm on Thursday 23 April, National Grid ESO registered a 950MW spike in demand as people around the UK went back inside to “stick the kettle on and carry on with [their] evening”, the ESO said on Twitter.

Battery software services provider Arenko helped manage this jump, delivering nearly 10% of the surge using it’s automated platform.

The company fully discharged its storage portfolio, delivering a net 82MW of power to National Grid to directly respond to the spike.

Rupert Newland, founder and CEO, said they were pleased that the automated battery software system was used to its full capacity to support National Grid.

“We expect this trend to continue in the coming weeks and we will continue to support National Grid in supplying power for homes in the UK.

“This further highlights the ability of our proprietary automation technology to rapidly automatically respond to market conditions even in the most unusual of stress test environments.”

The spike has been seen for several weeks now, as around the UK people step outside their homes and clap for key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic before collectively returning and switching on electric devices.

There is generally a very small dip in demand preceding the jump, which was highest on 16 April due to cloudier weather and the sun setting earlier.

Coronavirus has led to a different demand pattern in general throughout the UK and beyond as factories and industries have closed their doors and people are working from home wherever possible.

For example, over the Easter weekend the average demand was 21GW, a 2.1GW drop from last year. During the bank holiday, there were two new record low levels of demand recorded.

Conversely, Shell Energy has said it has seen a 15% increase in household energy demand recorded on smart meters due to COVID-19.

As the demand profile changes, the importance of flexibility has come more sharply into focus.

Flexitricity recently became the first virtual lead party to trade in the balancing mechanism since it was changed last year to allow smaller participants, in a step forwards for the UK's flexibility. It prompted Roisin Quinn, head of National Control at National Grid ESO to say transforming the mechanism was “central” to the ESO balancing the system.

“Particularly as we work to meet some of the challenges associated with balancing the system in lockdown conditions – and forms an important part of being able to operate carbon free by 2025.”

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