The week in flexibility: Batteries support the UK as the French interconnector trips
Each week, we take a look at the week in flexibility trading that has just been, and at what’s next. Enjoy our latest instalment. Last week closed with a rush of activity; First, on Friday – as we celebrated a new record for weeks coal-free energy generation – the France-UK interconnector tripped, causing frequency in the UK to drop to 49.63Hz.
Limejump demand response assets and customers provided an immediate response to this drop in frequency, ensuring no ill effects for UK consumers together with benefits for our customers. In addition, frequency deviation was handled in the Balancing Mechanism with a multitude of energy sources including all the batteries in our Virtual Power Platform. Our accurate machine learning forecasting means we are always well prepared to optimise trading and support our customers to generate additional revenue at times of peak volatility – such as interconnector trips.
Then, over the weekend a patch of low pressure moving across the North of Scotland and Ireland led to a glut of wind coupled with the Western Link being down. As a result, National Grid’s control room took more bid and offer action in both directions in order
to balance the system, bringing wind generation off in the north and bringing units such as Coryton, Medway and Didcot B6 on in the south to manage voltage. By the end of Sunday, there were 2GW of bids and 2GW of offers being sent in the BM.
Elsewhere last week, Tuesday kicked the 4-dayer week off with a NIV averaging 210MWh long. Renewable generation left overall prices low with the System Price hitting just £32.7/MWh across the day. The highest System Price was found in the post-morning peak – in period 23 and 24 – and reached £67.5/MWh. Foyers Power Station generators 1 and 2 were the highest accepted offers.
CCGTs dominated power generation on Wednesday, although the need for CCGT declined as the day went on and the wind picked up. All in all, System Prices mirrored Tuesday, settling at an average of £37.9/MWh, while net imbalance volume averaged 75.5MWh long. The highest System Price was in periods 24 to 36 at £59.9/MWh with VPI Immingham gas CCGT the highest accepted offer at £84/MWh, followed by Cruachan at £78/MWh. This mix of instructions led to £800 for Limejump clients.
Thursday saw a System Price high of £62/MWh, this was balanced out with four settlement periods showcasing negative prices. In the early hours of the day, it dropped as low as -£5.59/MWh. Both BM units of Humber Offshore Wind Farm were instructed to turn off at this time, determining that these units received the lowest accepted bids at a staggering £164.84/MWh, although we saw this action flagged as a System Operator action and thus it was not considered in the System Price final outcome. This volatility continues to prove that Balancing markets provide price extremities in comparison to wholesale trading, only accessible through Limejump’s market access and dynamic trading strategy.
Flex in numbers:
• Total number of instructions for Limejump: 59
• Top System Price of the week: £79
• Lowest System Price: – £64