Triads are becoming more difficult to predict. What does this mean for owners of Distributed Energy Resources?

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By Peter Thompson, Head of Technical Enablement
26 March 2018

Looking at the latest Triad data published by National Grid, this is the first time since the turn of the century that we have seen all three demand peaks under 50 GW, and the first time we have seen two occur in February. Historically, demand has been higher at the beginning of the week and this year followed that trend with all three occurring on a Monday.

2017/2018 Demand Peaks confirmed by National Grid:
48.581 GW           1700-1730hrs 11th December
47.098 GW           1730-1800hrs 5th February
47.122 GW            1800-1830hrs 26th February

Triads are becoming more difficult to predict. This is partly due to the variance in weather conditions, shown in this year’s February peaks, but it’s also because there is greater response to Triad warnings across the network – this is having the desired effect, flattening out peak demand.

Whilst its becoming harder to predict Triads, the costs of missing a Triad are expected to increase in the coming years – bringing greater need for automated intelligent management of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) to reduce import in Triad periods.

An automated response to Triad warnings is just as important for embedded generators, as generation in peak periods is still the most valuable source of income, for now. However, the benefits in Triad periods for embedded generators will decrease significantly over the next few years. Whilst dispatch for triads will continue to be important, this should be done as part of a dynamic revenue optimisation strategy which should also include access to the wholesale market and imbalance chasing.

In two of the last three years, the system peak has been in March. This shows the impact that DERs have on helping keep the electricity system in balance and what happens when DERs stop responding. But it begs a question – could we see changes to the Triad periods in the future?

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