Future of storage and the new National Grid balancing services

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The future of storage

Written by Nick Heyward
August 8, 2017

In June 2017 National Grid launched a consultation on System Needs and Product Strategy (SNAPS). National Grid outlined the services it will need to procure in the future in order to balance the grid and maintain secure and affordable electricity supplies. The consultation provided an opportunity for businesses, like Origami Energy, to contribute to the evolution of the balancing services markets.

More asset diversity in the system

We believe that an efficient and low-carbon energy system relies upon a more diverse, transparent and nearer real-time market for energy flexibility.

The prerequisite is a model that allows a wide range of assets to participate in flexibility provision. This asset diversity facilitates better market innovation and optimisation. Greater participation by flexibility providers is ultimately beneficial to the system as it will reduce the cost of operation, lowering the overall costs passed on to consumers.

Balancing with storage

The consultation, aiming to scope out services that are designed for the future, provided the opportunity to consider the role of new, more flexible technologies, utilising and rewarding their enhanced capabilities.

One of these technologies is advanced energy storage, which is able to provide more accurate and faster response than traditional providers of balancing services. As it has been proven in other markets, it can reduce the volume of regulation and also the reserve procured by network operators.

Today’s ancillary service markets play a crucial role in the investment case for most energy storage assets. However, it is uncertain how the evolution of these services will impact the fast development of the storage sector and the potential risk of saturation of this single market.

Storage developers and operators need to thoroughly consider future flexibility and adaptability across value streams in the end-to-end design, deployment and control of assets.

Ideally, the SNAPS consultation will result in better support for the capabilities of storage, improve long term revenue certainty and investment confidence. We believe the technology can assist in enabling better stacking of services and other value pools. With these enablers in place, storage would have a key role in maintaining a secure and balanced grid in the future.

Ofgem published the Consultation responses on their website, including the Origami Energy response.

For information on our Storage solution, click here.

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