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04 Oct 2023

UK Power Networks launches largest ever flexible electricity tender opportunity

UK Power Networks Stand: H40

                                                                               October 4 2023

UK Power Networks launches largest ever flexible electricity tender opportunity

The UK’s biggest electricity network operator, UK Power Networks, has put its largest ever flexible electricity offering on the market today.

The tender round, launched simultaneously on the Piclo™ platform and at a launch webinar, makes up to 850MW of opportunities available for bidders in London, the East and Southeast of England.

It covers demand turn-up and demand reduction across 452 different zones- enough to power nearly half a million homes.

UK Power Networks has led the way for flexibility at distribution level in the UK, since its first flexibility tender for 95MW in 2019. Since 2018, the company has awarded contracts to 38 companies for nearly 2 GW of flexibility up to 2028.

The market offering gives flexible providers - from energy storage operators to renewable energy plants and generators - opportunities to create new revenue streams by ensuring that the region’s power distribution infrastructure is not over-loaded and renewable energy is prioritised.  

The demand on the electricity network continues to rise as people opt to use more low carbon, electric technologies meaning that greater capacity will be needed at peak times.

Flexibility regulates the outputs between renewable energy generators such as batteries and wind turbines, and energy users who can sign up to reduce their demand at peak times to benefit financially. This offers a lower cost way to meet extra energy demand without the need for long term infrastructure upgrades while ensuring that enough electricity is available to meet growing demand from millions of electric vehicles and heat pumps.

Alex Howard, Head of Flexibility Markets at UK Power Networks DSO, said: “We’ve been offering flexibility opportunities for several years now but this latest tender round is our biggest. It demonstrates how we are opening our networks through the use of technology and data. We need flexible assets on our network to cut costs for our customers and maximise the generation of renewable energy options which are so crucial for helping us achieve Net Zero.”

Michael Evans, Lead Flexibility Analyst at Octopus Energy Group, said "We're excited to continue working with UK Power Networks, who as the first GB DSO to launch a demand turn-up service has been able to rapidly unlock domestic energy flexibility opportunities where our customers benefit from green electricity that would otherwise be wasted."

The opportunities range from just a few hours of flexible provision per year and as little as 10kW per zone.  Potential flexibility providers can view flexibility zones on the Piclo Flex website and on the UK Power Networks DSO website.

 

Ends

 

For further information please contact UK Power Networks press office on 0330 159 1712.

 

Notes to editors:

 

  • UK Power Networks’ independent DSO (Distribution System Operator) was set up to improve the resilience of our network with demand forecast to double by 2050 through the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, heat pumps and renewables generation. It is leading innovation in the sector to provide enticing opportunities to organisations ranging from small community energy groups to large private and public sector organisations and helping them to help us provide and save energy, readying our network as we transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. We are firmly committed to creating a world of plentiful renewable electricity and realising our net zero future, helping our region of 8 million homes and businesses to achieve their green economic potential. More information can be found on our website at www.dso.ukpowernetworks.co.uk
  • UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England.

Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines.

UK Power Networks continues to be listed in the Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running.

The company invests more than £600 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies. If you have a power cut ring 105, see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk or tweet us @UKPowerNetworks

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