Western Power Distribution (WPD) has launched its latest flexibility procurement auction, with a call for 238.83MW across 38 locations.
This round will bring the DNO's total operational flexibility up to 449.7MW across 56 locations in England and Wales. It follows WPD’s sixth procurement round, which saw 222MW of flexible assets awarded contracts in October.
“Our approach in assessing and procuring our flexibility requirements at six month intervals has allowed us to steadily build upon flex provider confidence, which is evident from the 440MW of flexibility contracts we already have in place and we hope to increase contracted volumes further through this procurement round,” explained WPD’s DSO manager Ben Godfrey.
The company has worked hard to “lay solid foundations for the increased focus networks will place on flexibility” ahead of the next price control period in two years, he added.
WPD’s latest procurement round saw requirements published on 11 January, with an invitation to tender opening on 8 February and a deadline of 19 March 2021. The procurement results will then be announced on 9 April 2021.
The need for flexibility is set to continue to gather pace as Britain’s electricity network decarbonises, with more than 1.3GW of flexibility required in 2021 alone according to research from Cornwall Insights. Its research suggested that WPD would procure the most flexibility services in 2021-22, reaching up to 800MW potentially.
Other DNOs have also been increasing their flexibility procurements, with Electricity North West putting out its largest tender to date – for 122MW of flexibility – in November, and Northern Powergrid launching a ‘no one size fits all’ 19MW flexibility tender. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks meanwhile called on generators to ‘signpost’ their interest in providing 250MW of flexibility in December.