The text below is the transcript from the DSO Explained Flexibility Services video.
Video Title: DSO Explained Flexibility Services
To meet our ever evolving customer and stakeholder needs and address the increased demand on our network as a result of the uptake of low carbon technologies, we as UK Distribution Network Operators are developing smarter, more flexible network solutions – like flexibility - as alternatives to costly and time consuming traditional reinforcement.
Flexibility is where a DNO pays a third party to operate in a way that benefits the network. Those third parties will be owners of generation of demand assets, like wind turbines, battery storage or CHP, and they could be asked to reduce their electricity consumption, or increase it, to balance the needs of the electricity network.
In areas of constraint, those flexibility providers can support network demand by reducing their power consumption of their assets or curtailing it altogether for an agreed period.
In areas of excess generation, flexibility providers could be asked to increase consumption to utilise power in order to balance the network.
Using flexibility means we can provide services more efficiently and at a lower cost. This will ultimately help keep bills down for our customers, enable more people to connect low carbon technologies to our network, and presents a commercial opportunity for generation and demand asset owners.
Flexibility services provide us with a smarter, more agile way of managing our network, often resulting in traditional network reinforcements being deferred or sometimes mitigated completely. These reinforcements are often costly and extremely time consuming, and whilst we will still complete such works where necessary, our aim is to seek alternatives that keep costs and disruption at a minimum for our customers and communities.
It ultimately gives us the opportunity to provide greater capacity in areas of constraint, and across the network as a whole – balancing both demand and generation. This will also enable the increased uptake of low carbon technologies and the use of innovative solutions, whilst at the same time allowing us to plan our networks more dynamically to meet ever evolving customer needs.
Flexibility will be critical to us in meeting net zero targets whilst maintaining a safe, reliable and robust electricity network for all of our customers and communities now and long into the future.