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The Week in Flexibility: Sunday comes up short, we see an end to the negative price run and go-live date for National Grid’s new “footroom” service is announced

Regular readers and those who like to crunch the numbers will have clocked the negative pricing moments that have surfaced every week since UK lockdown was introduced.

Last week we saw an end to this run of negativity as flex prices remained in the positive for the full 7 days, although we did get close on the Monday (27th April) with the day tightly balanced and flipping from long to short; as National Grid accepted more bids during short periods, this drove the system price to the £3-6/MWh range on most long periods.

The week was far from calm, with a lot of volatility cropping up. Wednesday in particular saw the NIV (Net Imbalance Volume) making large shifts and intraday market price swings of up to £20/MWh, with power plants reacting to prices by increasing and reducing generation on several occasions. This caused the power system to switch between over/under-supplied multiple times through the day and created large swings in the System Price.

Sunday proved to be one of the most interesting days, with the system averaging 407 MWh short due to very low underperforming wind generation (below 1 GW). Coupled with above forecast demands both during the two daily peaks, and in between them, we saw the System Price spiking to £51/MWh in SP34 and 35 when the NIV hit 1151 MWh short.

Friday had bought a different kind of interest to the market, as we saw another Covid-19 delay from National Grid (to supplement last week’s TERRE pause) when it was announced that Dynamic Containment (the new programme to help support National Grid operations in the case of significant frequency deviations) would not launch in June. This product is touted as the replacement to dynamic frequency response, which is supposed to be phased out in early 2022. We will be watching closely for any further announcements from National Grid.

However, it is not all pause from National Grid at the moment, as it was announced that a new “footroom” service will be live from this Thursday – paying embedded generators/consumers to stop outputting power or use more power. This product will be used over the summer, when demand is typically lower and is to reduce the impact of the significant drop in demand we have seen as a result of covid-19. The Optional Downward Flexibility Management (ODFM) service requires a minimum 1MW commitment and the ability to deliver over three hours (this can be aggregated if from the same grid supply point) and we are now assessing the value for our clients.

 

Flex in numbers:

Top System Price of the week: £51/MWh

Lowest System Price: £0/MWh

Limejump Instructions: 99

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