06 July 2020

National grid and Arenko announce further upward and downward reserve trials

Arenko is pleased to announce the successful completion of the initial stage of its first-of-its-kind battery reserve trial with National Grid ESO. Having announced this innovative trial in May 2020, both parties have agreed to further trials as we move towards unlocking the full potential of batteries as a source of balancing flexibility to the de-carbonised grid of the future.

Headline results:

  • National Grid ESO confirm in their statement that batteries offer a cost-effective option for upward and downward reserve
  • The trial demonstrated that the Electricity National Control Centre (“ENCC”) can effectively request the availability of sustained upward and downward reserve through existing operational arrangements
  • Further trials are planned for July and then September 2020, when a broader number of batteries will be involved

Arenko’s flexible software architecture and automation technology was able to rapidly deliver a reserve service to National Grid ESO which allowed them to use cost effective, digitalised battery technology in a market previously dominated by thermal power plants and Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (“CCGT”). This trial presents a clear path for National Grid ESO to be able to deliver a carbon free system by 2025 and to manage the substantial deployment of renewable energy expected over the coming years without having to unnecessarily switch on polluting, expensive power stations.

A link to the National Grid ESO statement can be found here: https://data.nationalgrideso.com/plans-reports-analysis/covid-19-preparedness-materials/r/trial_review_-_reserve_from_storage_in_the_bm

Arenko and National Grid ESO have agreed to two further extended trials in July and September 2020 to build on the success of this first trial as this service gathers momentum towards being a business as usual option available to ENCC.

National Grid ESO have recently published their System Operability Plans (“SOP”) indicating 1-2GW of ongoing requirement for upward and downward reserve, and this trial represents a major step forward for our software to be able to access additional revenue opportunities for batteries in an important and established market which has previously been inaccessible to batteries.

This is a clear example of how batteries can establish themselves as an integral future technology for balancing the electricity system outside of just the frequency response market.

Rupert Newland, founder and Chief Executive of Arenko said:

“We are delighted that National Grid ESO see such value in the potential and cost effectiveness of using batteries, operated by our software, to deliver upward and downward reserve. This innovative approach is a further example of Arenko creating value for our customers. We look forward to these extended trials and ultimately establishing upward and downward reserve as a core market for our battery customers to generate additional revenue from their batteries.”

National Grid ESO stated:

“National Grid ESO want to thank Arenko for their proposal and working with us on the initial trial, and all other parties who worked with us to access additional flexibility at pace this summer. We believe that short burst trials are a positive way to for the ENCC to learn at pace and support providers looking to enter the market and provide solid foundations for operating carbon free by 2025.”

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