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National Grid ESO hails milestone as STOR moves to daily auctions

Image: Andy Beecroft.

Image: Andy Beecroft.

National Grid ESO has hit a key milestone in its Clean Energy Package, as it begins procuring Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) on a daily basis.

Day ahead auctions began yesterday (31 March), with over 200 units with a volume of 6.5GW pre-qualified to participate.

This is split between 28 separate companies, with 2,918MW taking part in the opening auction. Winners included companies like EDF, RWE and Flexitricity, with the bulk of the capacity from CCGT, OCGT and Gas Reciprocating Engines.

National Grid ESO is looking to procure 1,300MW every day through the STOR auctions, which will run at 5am. Providers are able to submit their bids up to eight days in advance, thanks to the development of an auction platform.

STOR is a key balancing service, the operator said, which is utilised for fast response services that provide short burst of power if supply and demand are out of balance. By moving procurement of balancing services like STOR closer to real-time, more providers will be able to participate in the service the ESO anticipates, helping to increase competition and drive down costs.

There are long-term STOR contracts in place, with a small number set to remain till 2025. But going forwards, all other STOR requirements will be met through the daily auctions.

STOR forms part of National Grid ESO’s wider balancing toolbox, which was put to the test through 2020 as the COVID-19 lockdown and surging renewable generation drove down demand while there was abundant generation.

It was been working to widen its services, and in October introduced a new rapid response service. Dynamic Containment is also procured daily, moving the frequency response market closer to real-time.

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