Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is bidding to ramp-up its commitment to flexibility services by devising a new, technology neutral methodology.
The distribution network operator (DNO) has partnered with economics consultancy Frontier Economics to work on the methodology which will compare network reinforcements with flexibility services, ensuring a “transparent and level-playing field” for flexibility providers.
SSEN pointed to the increased deployment of low carbon technologies such as renewables, storage and electric vehicles as having opened up ways in which homes, communities and businesses can interact with electricity networks.
These can be combined to provide flexibility services to network operators which the DNOs could utilise in turn to deliver cost efficiencies for network users.
At the end of last year Britain’s network operators signed a 'Flexibility Commitment', co-ordinated by the Energy Networks Association, which committed them to assessing the use of flexibility services against network reinforcements wherever possible.
SSEN said the work with Frontier would go above and beyond that commitment, establishing a decision-making framework that would value the optionality provided by flexibilities.
Andrew Roper, distribution systems operations director at SSEN, said the collaboration was an “important step” towards market neutrality.
“This work will establish a transparent and robust methodology for selecting between conventional asset-based solutions, flexible and other smart solution investments. This represents SSEN going further than merely an audit process, but ensuring the methodology used to judge flexibility is robust.”