Octopus Energy and UK Power Networks (UKPN) will offer customers free electricity when energy supply exceeds demand due to excess renewable power on the grid.
Through the ‘Power-ups’ scheme Octopus will send customers a notification of the times they are able to use their ‘Power-ups’ one day in advance.
The scheme aims to tackle imbalance challenges face by the grid when an abundance of renewable power means supply exceeds demand and reduce curtailment.
Despite low energy prices caused by high levels of renewable generation paired with lower demand, electricity prices may still be higher than they could if the grid doesn’t have the capacity to take all the energy being produced.
UKPN is actively looking into how to address both the curtailment issue and avoid turning off renewable generators during surplus periods.
For instance, earlier this week UKPN, in partnership with National Grid ESO and National Grid Electricity Distribution, launched the a Distributed Energy Resources-specific ancillary service to extend the balancing options available to the ESO’s control room beyond the generators currently operating in the Balancing Mechanism.
“In response to growing volumes of renewable power, UK Power Networks is the first distribution system operator to call for ‘demand turn up’,” said Sotiris Georgiopoulos, director of distribution system operator at UK Power Networks.
“We’re delighted to have seen a strong response to the requirements we issued in December, including from innovators like Octopus. Tapping into customer flexibility means we can connect more renewable energy, keeping costs down for our customers.”
Alex Schoch, head of flexibility at Octopus Energy Group, added: “Thanks to Octopus’ proprietary technology rewarding ‘demand turn up’, we no longer need to switch off bountiful solar and wind power when consumers can use it up for free instead. It’s good for the grid and good for the planet – a win for everybody. ‘Power-ups’ is yet another arrow in the quiver of ‘demand flexibility’ and it’s great to work with an innovator like UK Power Networks.”
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