SSEN announces first-of-kind service contract to defer network reinforcement

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution has entered into a ‘Sustain’ service contract that will allow, for the first time, flexibility services to be used to defer £1.7m worth of network reinforcement.

Flexibility services are used by SSEN to manage Constraint Managed Zones (CMZs), one of which was identified in the Bridge of Dun and St Cyrus areas around Montrose, Scotland.

The network in this area has a high penetration of renewable generators and recent years have seen a reduction in demand.

For the first time, SSEN has entered into a ‘Sustain’ CMZ contract with a local generator to help balance the network.

This will defer the need for network reinforcement for four years, at the end of which time the network constraints will be reassessed.

Flexibility service contracts are a core part of SSEN’s commitment to running a network that puts flexibility first, supporting electricity system security in a cost-effective manner.

Under these contracts, owners and operators of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) can be paid for generation and/or demand flexibility.

SSEN is now tendering for flexibility services in a further 37 CMZs which will conclude in January 2022.

Flexibility providers are encouraged to register and complete the pre-qualification process on SSEN’s Dynamic Purchasing System (here) to be notified of and able to participate in future tenders.

Gavin Stewart, Flexible Solution Manager for SSEN, said: “We have ambitious plans for the roll-out of further CMZs in 2022 and I would encourage all market participants to sign up to our Dynamic Purchasing System so they can engage with future opportunities.

“Flexibility is business-as-usual for SSEN and a vital part of our toolkit that allows us to run a greener, smarter network. Since 2015 we have contracted over 603MW of flexibility services to manage network constraints and fault support, reducing the need for diesel generation.

“Using CMZ contracts we have also secured 8GWh of renewable energy, delivering an operational cost saving of £251,000 and avoiding 4,500 tonnes of carbon emissions.

“We are delighted to have agreed CMZ contracts which defer the need to spend £1.7m on network reinforcement for a four-year period. This allows us to deliver a safe, secure electricity supply to the communities we serve and to manage the network cost effectively.”

Image: courtesy SSEN

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