Electricity North West joins UK DNO collaboration to deliver Flexible Power

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Electricity North West has become the fifth UK distribution network operator to join Flexible
Power.

The firm, which operates the North West’s power network, joins Western Power Distribution, SP Energy Networks, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and Northern Powergrid, who previously announced their collaboration in October 2020 on the Flexible Power platform.

The move was a direct response to customer feedback calling for a simpler way to engage in the distribution flexibility services market.

Electricity North West’s involvement in the collaboration will further streamline the process
for flexibility providers and make interfacing with DNOs simpler and easier by avoiding the
complexities and resource intensity associated with liaising with numerous network
operators.

The platform enables a direct path for flexibility providers to participate in flexibility on
multiple networks. All five DNOs will use Flexible Power to signpost and operate all of their
flexibility requirements, with flex providers able to view flexibility locations, requirement data, procurement notices and documentation published by all on a single, joint website.

Electricity North West are keen to quickly replicate the progress made by DNOs to date by
signposting their flexibility locations for upcoming tenders on the website, with a view to then instructing flexibility events from their contracted providers via Flexible Power later this year.

The DNOs have committed to work in partnership to further develop the Flexible Power
brand and develop the platform functionality to enable interface capability with other flexibility platforms so wider market participation options can increasingly be made available to providers.

Steve Cox, Electricity North West’s Engineering and Technical Director said:

“We are committed to facilitating a move to net zero carbon within the North West and believe flexibility plays a huge role in this transition. We are looking forward to joining this collaboration, which we believe will be instrumental in supporting the development of these new markets and further reduce barriers to participation. This will be key to our net zero carbon transition and allow more stakeholders to realise the benefits that can be achieved from flexibility.”

Stewart Reid, Head of Future Networks for Scottish and Southern Electricity
Networks, said:

“Flexibility will help manage the transition to net zero in a smart and cost effective manner which is why we are committed to flexibility first. Our portfolio has grown from 6MW of live contracts at the beginning of 2020 to 470.8MW of Flexible Service contracts in place today, and has delivered environmental benefits with emission savings of over 5,000 tCO2.

“As the energy system continues to change it is imperative that opportunities for
engagement are accessible for the communities we serve. Flexible Power will help support customers’ journeys towards becoming flexibility providers, which not only benefits the individual but the whole system.

“I am proud that DNOs are working together to make the route to participation as simple and cost effective as possible.”

Graham Campbell, Head of Whole Systems & Commercial at SP Energy Networks
said:

“The flexibility market is developing at pace and swiftly moving towards becoming a
business-as-usual practice across our industry, as it’s a clear means of maximising our network potential.

However, as an emerging market, we recognise the challenges new entrants face. That’s why we were delighted to join forces with the other UK DNOs to launch the Flexible Power platform last year, to help streamline the process for providers and ensure consistency across the market. I’m equally as pleased to see another DNO coming on board in what is truly a collaborative effort to remove barriers for market participants and provide easier access to flexibility opportunities across the UK.

“As we shift our focus to the green economic recovery and our continued efforts to help the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments achieve their ambitious net zero carbon targets, finding smarter and more agile ways to manage our network is ever more critical, and Flexible Power is allowing us to do just that.”

Jim Cardwell, Northern Powergrid’s Head of Policy Development, said:

“We’re committed to rolling out customer flexibility across our network in way that delivers the best service at the lowest cost for our customers and supports the delivery of net zero.

“The collaborative use of the Flexible Power system delivers for customers who’ve been asking for greater unification across DNOs. It is fantastic to have our fellow DNO in the north of England join this platform offering customers with assets connected across multiple networks a much simpler and single interface and this will help accelerate the roll out of flexibility across the entire UK energy system.”

Graham Halladay, Western Power Distribution’s Operations Director, said:

“I’m delighted to see ENW join the Flexible Power platform. Providing neutral marketplaces will be an important function for distribution system operators and the flexibility market shows what can be done and how the industry responds to customer feedback. I hope to see the increased coverage of regions using Flexible Power open up many more opportunities to our existing providers.

“WPD initially created and trialed Flexible Power with funding from Ofgem’s NIA incentive and I’m incredibly proud to see the value of this funding increase through the adoption of Flexible Power by other UK DNOs.”

For more information on the Fexible Power portal, please visit www.flexiblepower.co.uk

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