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New National Grid ancillary services platform goes live as modernisation programme shifts gear

Image: National Grid.

Image: National Grid.

National Grid has set live a new platform for ancillary services, coming as part of a much larger plan to modernise its grid management toolkit.

The company said that the platform was a “key step” towards expanding the market for new connections to its services and in optimising how it accesses power to manage the country’s demand.

The new ancillary services platform forms the second part of the company’s Platform for Ancillary Services (PAS) programme, which includes updating the Service Provider and Contracts Management platform, the Ancillary Services Dispatch Platform (ASDP) and the Settlements platform.

The ASDP has now been in running for in the Control Room for 18 months, “supporting N-BM Fast Reserve and Optional Fast Reserve, and now includes STOR with the recent Go Live.”

“In our electricity control room we’ve gone live with Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) on our PAS,” a National Grid ESO spokesperson explained to Current±.

“STOR is a service which customers can provide to National Grid to deliver either a specific level of power from their generators or a reduction of demand. The service is defined by ‘Availability Windows’ which are the periods that the service provider is obliged to deliver to their commitment. This is generally carried out via electronic instructions from National Grid to the provider.”

This will help to provide faster access to the market for the ESO and market participants, “leveraging internet connectivity between National Grid ESO and service providers,” the ESO said.

“The programme provides costs benefits too – enabling our ambitions for the new RIIO2 price control,” the spokesperson added.

Ensuring up-to-date ancillary services is becoming increasingly pressing given the changes the UK grid has undergone in recent years. Multiple large thermal transmission supplies have shut for a number of reasons including economic and environmental, and have often been replaced with more distributed and variable sources such as renewables. As such, managing the grid has become increasingly challenging.

National Grid began to change its ancillary services to better serve the changing grid last year, and launched its Distributed Resource Desk in its Control Room in January. This allowed smaller players, such as small-scale power generators, battery storage operators and demand-side response, to participate more effectively.

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