Jun 2016
Electricity Distribution
Jun 2016
Apr 2019
Western Power Distribution, Western Power Distribution East Midlands, Western Power Distribution South Wales, Western Power Distribution South West and Western Power Distribution West Midlands
Matthew Watson - Innovation & Low Carbon Networks Engineer
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Network Innovation Allowance
ED - New technologies and commercial evolution
Demand Response
DNOs have been running limited scope trials in order to assess the potential of DSR as an enhancement to existing network operations. These have to date not addressed the issue of customer participation in multiple DSR schemes and the need for a service provider that can aggregate and optimise capacity to meet the requirements of multiple schemes (SO, TO, DNO & Supplier) and maximise value to asset owners. If this is not addressed it is unlikely that DNOs will be in a position to recruit participants for the exclusive purpose of constraint management due to higher, or more frequent, income stream from non-DNO sources.

Prior DSR trials have so far been limited in their scope with only small sample groups being engaged to offer quite limited functionality specifically for distribution constraint management. As the name ‘Entire’ suggests, we will now extend the previously limited scope to fully develop and test the skills, relationships and systems necessary for a DNO to provide a comprehensive DSR capability. We will be doing this in areas within the WPD network that are may be due a significant capital upgrade but where the certainty of immediate need is absent. The project will also demonstrate how DSR can be used to defer capital investment which can sometimes take up to 10 years.

In order to achieve this, the ‘Entire’ project scope includes;

  • Recruit team / place contracts with partners.
  • Develop connection policies / DSR contracts / technology and systems to facilitate services.
  • Regulatory rules and financial reward structure for developing and operating multifunctional DSR programme.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of all legacy embedded generation and its impact on network and updating of asset records.
  • Stakeholder engagement and interaction including recruitment of DSR programme participants.
  • ‘Interaction with’ and ‘enrolment in’ external DSR programmes to optimise commercial Establishing direct relationships with the largest demand customers to understand their usage, flexibility and possible changes. This will be combined with advice around ASC (Approved Supply Capacity) and DSR to reduce their costs and introduce new revenue opportunities.
  • Identifying the skills gaps and organisational structure issues that are required to be addressed to operate a commercial DSR programme and ongoing migration to DSO.
  • Measuring direct impact of LV connected DSR on 33kV & 132kV infrastructure and establishing financial ‘use case’.
  • Determination of data required for customer recruitment. This will include an assessment of the benefits (and any confidentiality barriers) from market availability of this data.
  • Assess results and report.

The trial will identify and address many of the key challenges a DNO is presented with as they develop DSR and other commercial service capabilities within what is a traditional engineering and asset management organisation. In doing so WPD will create a roadmap for WPD’s other regions as well as other DNOs to assist development of a commercial service capability and deliver increased value to their customers.
In order to start this transition, it is necessary to ensure that the data held regarding customers with generation or sufficient volumes of flexibility to affect the network operation, is accurate and comprehensive. It is therefore our intention to carry out a deep audit of customer assets within the trial zones and ensure that they are compliant with the current standards, while taking advantage of this interaction to engage with them to educate and where appropriate recruit for demand side management activity. By carrying out this project we will ensure that the underlying assumptions regarding our networks are correct and that we have increased visibility of dynamic users that will effect operational decisions as we migrate to local system operation.

NETWORK: Identify, audit and update all generation connected to the 11kV network within the trial zone(s). This should enable the return of any unused export capacity to network planners. Identify all connected generation above 150kW and identify where these may affect dynamic network operation. We will also interact with other WPD initiatives to advise where increased telemetry may be required to monitor active locations in the network and update future forecasting models.

SYSTEMS: Identify, develop and demonstrate new policies, processes and systems that are required in order for WPD to operate standalone DSR services. (monitor, control, meter and settle)

OPERATIONAL: Identify new skills and roles that currently don’t exist within the DNO organisational structure and either train existing staff to address gap or create appropriate job specifications for future recruitment.

COMMERCIAL: Develop an economic business model for combined internal and external DSR service provision that demonstrates enhanced value to customers. This will integrate savings with additional opportunities that could generate new incremental revenues from third party DSR schemes and cost avoidance. Broadening the scope of what a DNO can do with DSR we would expect to achieve improved efficiencies for overall GB system operation.

MARKET: Agree a new set of conditions that allow and incentivise DNOs to operate DSR services that not only address internal constraint issues but incentivise the efficient use of these new capabilities to support overall GB System operation requirements. This will enable the use of customer assets to participate in external DSR schemes, including SO balancing services.

KNOWLEDGE: Document and share all key learning that is achieved in order that the results should be replicable across all UK Distribution Networks.