Flexibility Services

To meet evolving customer needs, we are developing smarter, more flexible network solutions to help mitigate the need for traditional reinforcement and reduce costs for our customers. This is cheaper for our customers as it enables us to delay expensive reinforcement work for as long as possible.

Resources connected to our networks could provide both additional capacity and additional generation to assist in key areas that have specific challenges during periods of network constraint.

We are exploring markets for flexibility with new and existing customers who are able and willing to control how much they generate or who can control their demand.


About Flexibility

Flexibility Services Overview

Flexibility services is where a Distribution Network Operator (DNO), like us, pays a third party to operate assets in a way that’s beneficial to our network. Those third parties will be owners of generation assets or low carbon technologies (LCTs) such as wind turbines, battery storage, solar or electric vehicles, and we may ask them to “turn down” or up depending on the needs of our network. In other words, we might ask them to lower the power consumption of their assets for an agreed period to allow us to free up that capacity for use elsewhere, or we might ask them to use more power in areas where we have excess generation.

As the needs of our customers and communities are constantly changing, the requirements of our electricity network are too. The increased uptake of LCTs does often result in constraints on the network during periods of high demand. However, new technologies and connections can often lead to excess generation in other areas too. Flexibility therefore provides an agile, smart means of balancing our network to solve both of those challenges.

Check out our Q&A video below to learn more:

Flexibility Products

Market Based Flexibility Products (MW)Flexibility Product Description
  • Sustain will be scheduled in advance of the service window.
  • Utilisation fee payable for the service provided in response to the scheduled notice.            
  • No availability fee payable.
  • Secure can be dispatched or scheduled. 
  • Utilisation fee payable for the service provided in response to the scheduled notice. 
  • Arming fee is payable. 
  • Providers declare availability one week ahead.
  • Dispatch instruction issued if service is required.
  • Utilisation fee payable if service is provided.
  • Availability fee is payable once availability has been accepted.
  • Providers declare availability one week ahead and declarations automatically accepted.
  • Dispatch instruction if service is required following a network event.
  • Utilisation fee payable for the service provided.
  • Reactive Power can be dispatched or scheduled 
  • Utilisation fee payable for the service provided in response to the scheduled notice 
  • Arming fee is payable 

Flexibility Providers

We will look to procure flexibility services through competitive tenders where possible and the responses from the flexibility providers will be used to:

  • Identify the availability of flexibility resources in specific areas where flexibility could benefit the network.
  • Understand the capabilities and restrictions of these resources.
  • Evaluate the viability of using flexibility to meet network requirements.

Flexible Power

Flexible Power is a joint initiative from five UK Electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs); SP Energy Networks, Western Power Distribution, Northern Powergrid, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and Electricity Northwest. 

By collaborating together on flexible power, we are able to offer a single point of information in respect of each DNOs flexibility service requirements.

Flexibility providers are able to view flexibility locations, requirement data, procurement notices and documentation published by all five DNOs on the joint website. Once contracted, providers are given access to the joint Flexible Power Portal where they can declare their assets availability, receive dispatch signals and view performance and settlement reports.

Flexibility Providers that contract through Flexible Power have the benefit of;

  • Generating new income form their power assets
  • Efficient participation though Flexible Powers electronic dispatch portal
  • Supporting their local energy network

Please visit Flexible Power using this link: 




Flexibility will:

  • Reduce the need in some areas for costly, and time-consuming traditional reinforcement. Eliminating the need to invest in permanent upgrade to meet a temporary spike in demand.
  • Accommodating the growth in low carbon technologies.
  • Allow consumers to capitalise on the opportunities arising from a transition to a smarter grid and to participate in the low carbon future.



Graham Campbell – Head of Whole Systems and Commercial:

‘’’Flexibility is key to achieving smarter energy networks, reducing the need – where possible – for costly reinforcement work and giving customers the opportunity to participate in a low carbon future and benefit financially for doing so’’

Guy Shapland – Process and Systems Lead:

‘’’Guy has over 22 years experience in our Distribution business and is an accredited Black Belt. He specialised in process improvement, change management and implementing new systems to improve the efficiency of a number of departments. Most recently Guy has worked in the DSO flexibility team to define the new BaU processes to procure, manage flexibility services and implement new platforms in our control room to operate flexibility services’’

Wendy Mantle – Commercial lead:

‘’’Wendy has worked within the Electricity industry for over 30 years in a number of roles, primarily within the commercial and regulation areas of the business.  She has been involved in a wide range of projects, including DUoS Pricing, Losses and Commercial Policies.  Most recently, Wendy is part of the DSO Flexibility Team, specifically working on Flexibility Services Tenders, and she also represents SP Energy Networks on industry working group relating to Flexibility’’

Ava Connor – Project Management Apprentice:

‘’’As part of my year one Project Management (PM) Apprenticeship, I’m supporting the flexibility team on the flexibility programme plan, as well as having a main focus on supporting the flexibility comms stream – to help build awareness of flexibility internally and externally across SP Energy Networks’’

Tender Timelines

Tender Timelines

Spring Tender: Signposting. Company PQQ. April - May: Asset Qualification 6 weeks. May - June: Technical Assessment 2 weeks. June: Bidding Window 1 weeks. June - August: Commercial Assessment 4-8 weeks. Contract Award

Our Documents



How can we actively manage our network

We talk a lot right now about the constant increasing demand on the electricity network, and I explained a little in my last blog about our focus on flexibility which will be one of the ways we’ll cope with this.


We've accepted 140mw of flexibility bids in latest tender

We have accepted bids totalling 140MW of flexibility services following the latest round of tendering. To meet the evolving needs of our customers and play our part in delivering government Net Zero targets, we are developing smarter, more flexible network solutions.


Contact Us

Contact Us

We would welcome any feedback, comments or questions on our flexibility tenders. Please contact our flexibility team at: Flexibility@spenergynetworks.co.uk



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