National Grid launches Mersey power tender

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NATIONAL Grid ESO is offering a nine-year contract for reactive power services in the Mersey region.

This is the first time that the company has offered a long-term contract for reactive power and is part of a new approach to procuring the service from existing and new providers following on from the short term Mersey tender issued in October.

Keeping the voltage steady requires careful management, a deviation as small as 5% above or below can have knock on impacts across the network, for example an increasing requirement to switch in and out the voltage control equipment more regularly and therefore increase the ongoing maintenance costs.

Managing voltage levels comes from maintaining a balance between elements on the system, which either absorb reactive power (decreasing voltage) or generate reactive power (increasing voltage).

The Mersey tender is for absorption.

What is required?

The minimum size for participating in the tender is 15MVAr.

Sub-units as part of an aggregated portfolio must be at least 5MVAr.

Delivery is required from 1 April 2022 and the tender is open to providers connected at both distribution and transmission level, including those that are not yet connected.

Providers are allowed to stack additional services but they must be available 24/7 to deliver contracted reactive power services if instructed to do so.

The contracts are based on availability prices only, there is no utilisation fee.

The tender is in two stages, with a technical submission on 13 December and a commercial submission on 21 February 2020.

The tender forms part of how the ESO is transforming how it manages transmission constraints, such as voltage, stability and thermal, with the bid determining whether a third party can deliver a more economic solution compared to the network asset alternative in procuring reactive power.

More information available here.