UK Power Networks (UKPN) has announced £12 million of funding for flexibility services across its service area.
The company aims to ‘kick-start’ a new market for energy generators and other energy resources to sell flexibility services to network operators.
The £12 million in funding has been allocated across 28 different locations according to network requirements across those locations, and will be used to purchase the flexible energy output the resources produce.
An auction for up to four contracts to provide flexibility services from winter 2019 is scheduled for late March. Companies have until 12 March to register to tender. To allow more providers to participate, the DNO has reduced the minimum capacity threshold from 100KW to 50KW.
Auctions are to be held on the online Piclo platform which it joined in June last year.
Head of smart grid development at UKPN, Sotiris Georgiopoulos, said that it was early days for the flexibility market but that they were fully committed to it.
“It’s the right thing to do for our customers. The sums we’re investing will ultimately save customers money by extending the life of our existing infrastructure.
“We’re setting out to develop an open and transparent new market that will make our network stronger and more resilient while delivering value for our customers,” he added.
Flexibility will allow UKPN to extend the life of their existing infrastructure by allowing the company to defer capital expenditure to upgrade cabling and substations. The company believes this will lower costs for consumers.
In 2018, UK Power Networks became the first network operator in the country to commit to a ‘flexibility first’ approach, offering its requirements for new capacity to the distributed energy market ahead of building network reinforcement.