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The Week in Flexibility: Another week of Lockdown and another week of negative pricing against a backdrop of strong renewables and TERRE delay

Before we dive into the ins and outs of last week’s flex market, we’ll start with the acknowledgement that for now, balancing is staying local.

Last week saw National Grid ESO delay implementation of the long-awaited pan-European balancing service. The Trans European Replacement Reserve service (or TERRE) – expected to be live in June this year (after an extension from the original December 2019 plans) will now be delayed until October, with Coronavirus uncertainty hitting the project’s timescales.

The October date is the “earliest” it will possibly be live, and we will be keeping a keen eye on developments.

Negative pricing continued as a theme last week with strong renewable output leading to National Grid having to pay to turn down generators (the norm is generators pay to turn down as they save money on fuel costs from not running). We saw this on Monday with -£65/MWh in SP33 and Tuesday with a low of -£56.6/MWh in SP26.

Over the weekend, solar continued its strong trend from this month – with Sunday’s outrun hitting 7.3GW, which is still over 2GW short of last weekend’s record (18/19 April). Both the market and the system price were out-turning up to £12, below Day-Ahead prices, due to higher than expected wind generation. This pushed market participants to buy back their volume and remove their PNs from block 4B and ahead, flipping the system from long to short (it went from £8.74/MWh at 12:00 pm to £34.00/MWh at 12:30).

Flex in numbers:

 Top System Price of the week: £51/MWh

Lowest System Price: -£65/MWh

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