Network operator Western Power Distribution (WPD) and international energy and services company Centrica have kicked off a new programme of flexibility services in Cornwall.
In a bid to help manage network constraints and avoid the need for expensive grid upgrades, WPD will be seeking flexibility services through both its established Flexible Power offering and Centrica’s award-winning Cornwall Local Energy Market (LEM) platform. These two methods will complement each other and support WPD's procurement of flexibility services to manage network constraints.
Through Flexible Power, providers are awarded one-year contracts, with the option to extend into subsequent years. Using Centrica’s LEM platform, providers will be able to bid for contracts closer to real-time, from months ahead up to the day of delivery. Businesses will also be able to use the platform to offer their services to both WPD and the National Grid in a first-of-its-kind trial.
Network Strategy Manager Ben Godfrey said: “Flexibility is a key tool for WPD as we move to a smarter better managed electricity network.
“It enables us to make better use of local network capacity, keep the lights on and avoid upgrades to our network which in turn saves our customers money.
“Working alongside Centrica on the Cornwall LEM will help us learn how customers respond to different ways of trading flexibility services and help us refine our business processes and data exchanges to support this trading activity in the future. Working with the LEM will also allow us to see how market platforms can help increase the visibility of flexibility services by different parties and avoid problems when more than one party uses services in the same area.”
Director of Distributed Power Systems at Centrica, Mark Futyan, said: “Centrica’s LEM platform is a world-first platform where sellers can win contracts across distribution and transmission through transparent auctions. These price signals are critical to unlocking new flexibility, and we are excited to be trialling this with WPD, showing how the UK can lead the world in creating smart, distributed power systems for the future.”