UK embedded generation rewarded for flexibility as coal-free run goes on

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
EDF's Cottam coal power station, now closed. Image: EDF.

The UK’s electricity system operator (ESO) National Grid turned down embedded generation using a new management service last weekend, but did not resort to emergency disconnection powers granted at short notice.

Its use of a new generation turn-down protocol came as low demand and high renewable generation contributed towards a month-long spell without coal generation on the grid.

Last week UK industry regulator Ofgem granted National Grid ESO with emergency powers to request the disconnection of any generation connected to the UK’s distribution networks – including almost all of the country’s operational solar PV – after forecasts raised the chance of stress events occurring on the grid.

In addition to those powers, the ESO also brought forward the Downward Flexibility Management (DFM) service, which allows owners of so-called embedded generation to reduce or switch off their output voluntarily in return for commercial contracts.

National Grid ESO informed sister publication Current± of its use of the DFM service, full details of which can be read here. The DFM adds to a growing list of products the ESO has launched, including the Balancing Mechanism, through which renewables and energy storage can contribute to grid stability in the UK.

Its use also came on the same weekend that the UK’s still-ongoing stretch without coal generation reached the one month milestone.

With demand lower than normal due to the coronavirus lockdown and surging renewables, Sunday 10 May marked a full month since the polluting fossil fuel formed a part of the country’s energy mix.

This prolonged period without coal had already beaten previous records, with National Grid ESO announcing on 28 April that the country had gone over 18 days, 6 hours and 10 minutes without coal, officially longer than the previous record set in May 2019.

Additional reporting by Alice Grundy and Molly Lempriere.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
March 4, 2021
An exclusive recording from our Solar Finance & Investment Europe event, featuring a panel discussion on the future of the solar industry.
February 22, 2021
Six Renewables Energy Zones to be created in Victoria as new ‘VicGrid’ body created to oversee the plans
February 2, 2021
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has welcomed an amendment to California utilities' grid mapping requirements that will support the "efficient electrification" of the state's infrastructure.
PV Tech Premium
February 1, 2021
Cero Generation, intended to be among the biggest solar development companies in Europe, has been launched by Australian giant Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG).
January 13, 2021
As the proliferation of grid-scale renewables accelerates, capacity on national grids is diminishing just as quickly, leading to harder to find and ever-costlier connection agreements. Liam Stoker assesses some of the alternative options grid operators are exploring to extortionate grid upgrades.
January 13, 2021
A round-up of the latest news in solar project development, as Grenergy secures €70 million for Chile farms, ReneSola sells a 12.3MW portfolio and Bluefield Solar Income Fund boosts its portfolio with a 70MWp acquisition.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
March 9, 2021
Solar Media Events
March 17, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 13, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021