National Grid ESO outlines balancing actions during COVID-19

In: Grid
National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO)  stated in its summer outlook that electricity demand is expected to fall to 15GW over the summer, having already seen record lows as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
In order to manage low system demand heading towards May bank holidays, the ESO is taking a number of steps. First, the ESO is introducing a new Optional Downward Flexibility Management Service. This is a market for embedded generation that is not currently in the Balancing Mechanism to turn down generation in order to support stable capacity on the Transmission network. This may be a commercial opportunity for embedded generators.
Second, the ESO is proposing to amend the Grid Code to clarify their powers and the obligations of Distribution Network Companies. The GC0143 modification sets out that under emergency conditions and as a last resort the Electricity System Operator (ESO) may instruct a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to disconnect embedded generators connected to its system. Given the urgency of the situation, this modification is being progressed quickly, but includes a sunset clause for better scrutiny at a later date.

Fintan Slye Director, Electricity System Operator commented on the ESO's summer outlook: "This is no ordinary Summer Outlook report. We are currently in an unprecedented situation caused by the global spread of the Covid-19 virus. I want to reassure the millions of homes and businesses that rely on us each day to keep their lights on: we are fully focused on keeping the electricity system running throughout the pandemic."

"Measures taken to curb the spread of the virus are driving unprecedented changes to society and the economy. It is too early to be precise about how these measures will play out in the longer term and therefore what impact they will have on electricity demand."

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