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SSEN turns to community groups for flexibility

Image: SSEN.

Image: SSEN.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is turning to communities to help ease grid constraints through flexibility procurement.

SSEN has partnered with National Energy Action (NEA) for a new initiative which will see the distribution network operator (DNO) reach out to community groups and install energy technologies such as LED lighting and battery storage, or affect behavioural changes to impact energy demand.

The programme will see SSEN develop so-called ‘Social Constraint Managed Zones’. These will then provide accessible and visible routes for communities in these zones to engage and offer flexibility services where there is constraint on the system. NEA will then explore how community groups could provide a solution that avoids network reinforcement.

NEA will also arrange workshops for communities to engage with stakeholders and identify which flexibility service may best suit their needs, rewarding communities with societal benefits such as lower bills and carbon reduction.

Andrew Roper, distribution system operations director at SSEN, said the transition to more flexible networks is unlocking new opportunities.

“SSEN is committed to being a neutral facilitator of these markets, and make the process as simple and easy to engage with for community groups. That’s why I welcome this joint approach with NEA, experts in addressing fuel poverty, to reach out to communities and encourage engagement flexibility services.”

SSEN has been among the frontrunners in looking to procure flexibility services from a range of different sources, having earlier this month moved to bolster its flexibility commitment through the creation of a technology-neutral methodology, produced alongside economics consultancy Frontier Economics.

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