Western Power Distribution opens the UK’s largest flexibility market


WESTERN Power Distribution have published their intention to procure 334MW of demand response services across their network through multiple channels – the largest amount from any UK Network Operator.

The requirements cover 175 primary substations across one fifth of the company’s network.

Ben Godfrey, Network Strategy Manager at Western Power Distribution, said: “Our fifth and largest procurement round delivers on our commitment to open our ED1 load related reinforcement requirements up to the market.

“The move to a decarbonised energy system is changing the way we plan and operate our network. Having flexibility in these areas is crucial in enabling enable us to optimise investment and respond quickly to uncertainty.”

To deliver the ENA’s Flexibility Commitment, the company is market testing all remaining load-related reinforcement in ED1 to see if the capacity can be provided more economically through flexibility.

Providers of flexibility will be able to use multiple routes to market, including PicloCornwall Local Energy Market, and Western Power Distribution’s own Flexible Power.

The 334MW is across 42 zones in England and Wales, which all have a need within 2020/21.

The company has also signposted ongoing needs to 2024/25.

A postcode checker is available to help interested parties determine if they have a suitable site inside these zones and a value calculator has been developed to help estimate anticipated revenue.

Full details of the requirements in each zone have been published on the Flexible Power website.

The information includes: zone locations, which months each zone needs flexibility, the required availability windows and the MWhs needed to be utilised within each month.

Procurement timeline:

  • 6 January – flexibility zones and supporting information published
  • 3 February – Invitation to tender (ITT) issued to all participants who have registered their interest and passed a pre-qualification stage
  • 13 March – ITT deadline
  • 3 April – Procurement results

Potential participants need to register their interest by responding to the company’s procurement notice, which is available here.

The Flexible Power team will be holding a number of information events to assist interested parties with the process over the course of January and February, including a series of webinars on routes to procurement and a face-to-face Flexibility Surgery.

If you want to be informed of Flexible Power’s activities or if you would like details of its information events you can register for updates here.