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National Grid ESO eyes potential reactive power tender as it issues RFI

National Grid ESO is assessing the needs for further reactive power services between 2023 and 2026. Image: National Grid ESO.

National Grid ESO is assessing the needs for further reactive power services between 2023 and 2026. Image: National Grid ESO.

National Grid ESO has put out a request for information (RFI) for new sources of reactive capability across England and Wales.

The RFI sets out the technical needs for reactive power services in multiple zones for between 2023 and 2026.

National Grid ESO will use responses to assess the voltage capability available to it and then determine the next steps it will take, including whether it would be appropriate to run a commercial tender process.

“We are at a very exciting time in the electricity industry as we move to a decarbonised electricity system and as we transition, we need to think differently about how the network is operated,” the operator wrote.

“One of the key technical challenges is in voltage management. This RFI sets out the challenge that we see in the short to medium term and is asking for existing and new providers that are capable of providing additional voltage services to come forward and express an interest in participating in a potential voltage contract.”

National Grid ESO is calling on both new or existing providers of voltage services who believe they could contribute a new or enhanced service to respond to the RFI by 5pm on 13 June 2022.

As the energy mix in the UK has become increasingly diversified in recent years, the ESO has been expanding its reactive power services to ensure it can manage the voltage levels.

This includes contacting both new technologies and new uses of existing technologies – such as contracting Triton Power to repurpose two gas turbines at its Deeside Power Station to provide inertia and reactive power to National Grid ESO – through the Stability Pathfinder Programme.

National Grid ESO also awarded a reactive power contract to an offshore wind farm transmission asset, SSE’s Dogger Bank C in a UK first in February.

For more information or to respond to the RFI, click here.

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