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UK Power Networks to tender for 292MW of flexibility

UK Power Networks announces new flexibility tender from this summer. Image: UKPN.

UK Power Networks announces new flexibility tender from this summer. Image: UKPN.

UK Power Networks (UKPN) has announced a new procurement round for 292MW of flexible power across 113 different sites in London, the East and South East of England.

The distribution network operator (DNO) has made more than £13 million available for the tender which is being run through PicloFlex. The market is now open for registrations ahead of the competition opening on 17 May.

Some of the sites have early start dates, with flexibility services required just four weeks after the arrangements being made. These offer an immediate revenue opportunity for existing generators, energy storage and demand side response providers, says UKPN.

“We know that flexibility can provide a cost-effective and quick alternative to building new infrastructure to help manage the rise in low carbon technologies like electric vehicles and heat pumps,” said Sotiris Georgiopoulos, head of smart grid development at UKPN.

“This latest tender underlines our commitment to the market. Establishing an independent DSO is demonstrating to potential providers of flexibility that UK Power Networks, as the market facilitator is credible and evaluates options with impartiality.”

UKPN has already awarded £44.5 million worth of flexibility contracts to 29 companies for almost 500MW of peak power up to 2028, having run its first flexibility tender in 2019.

Additionally, in December it announced plans to establish the a legally independent DSO, with flexibility at its heart.

DNOs are tendering for increasingly large amounts of flexibility to manage the increased number of low carbon technologies on the grid, with Western Power Distribution launching a flexibility tender for 278.34MW in January, SP Energy Networks accepting 555MW of bids of flexibility services in November, and Electricity North West calling for 259MW of flexibility in November for example.

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