Small generators in the southeast wanted for reactive power market trial

National Grid and UK Power Networks are recruiting distribution-connected generators to trial a new market in reactive power.

Traditionally reactive power was managed on the transmission network, by National Grid. But with more power assets connecting to the distribution network, the System Operator wants to know whether those smaller plant can be used to help manage transmission constraints. That could mean small-scale operators receiving payments for providing this grid service, and the market is being tested in the southeast, where there are constraints on the system that will be exacerbated as large assets like new interconnections come online.

The network companies are looking for participants with 1MW or more of capacity, which may be wind farms, CHP plants and other small gas engines, PV arrays or storage.

At this stage, the two companies want to find out whether the market will be financially viable. If it is, in later stages it may be expanded to include participants with smaller plant. It may eventually include large demand customers, as the system requires both positive and negative reactive power.

Interested parties can find out more in a webinar on 29 January (see www.nationalgrid.com/powerpotential or email box.powerpotential1@nationalgrid.com). Participants will be asked for formal Expressions of Interest in joining the market in a few weeks time.

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