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Optimal Coordination of Active Network Management Schemes and Balancing Services Market

Funding mechanismNetwork Innovation Allowance (NIA)
DurationJun 2020 - Jun 2021
Estimated expenditure£325,000
Research areaNetwork improvements and system operability, Transition to low carbon future


The key objectives of this work can be described as follows:

  • To identify and define different optimal T&D coordinated ANM schemes, their associated technical and commercial requirements as well as compatibility with existing industry codes and regulatory frameworks;
  • To develop test cases and evaluate the ability of DER to participate in the ANM functions of the distribution system or in whole system balancing actions in a coordinated manner;
  • To identify and define solutions that will optimize the coordination of ANM schemes with the balancing services market;
  • To develop a delivery plan for deployment of the solutions;
  • To disseminate findings and recommendations to other network licensees.


The installed capacity of Distributed Generation (DG) has increased to 31 GW in 2018 and is set to rise to a level of 38 – 69 GW by 2030 across all FES scenarios. This significant growth of DG together with the development and adoption of smart grid technologies means that Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) need to more actively manage flows on their networks. DNOs have been introducing Active Network Management (ANM) schemes to manage network assets, generation and demand dynamically to increase the utilisation of network assets without breaching operational limits, reduce the need for reinforcement, speed up connection timelines and reduce costs. The number and type of ANM schemes is set to increase over the coming years as much more DG wants to connect to increasingly constrained networks.

Assets connected to ANM schemes can be controlled to manage distribution network constraints. Without coordination between the ESO and DNOs, there is potential for ANM schemes to counteract the ESO’s balancing actions or to cancel out the effect of system services procured from Distributed

Energy Resources (DER). This could lead to increased costs to the consumer and risk to security of supply if system services cannot be delivered when required. In addition, ANM systems need to be designed and operated in a coordinated manner during whole system emergency situations.


The project will be structured into six distinct work streams (WS):

WS1: Identify and review current ANM schemes on the transmission (e.g. Generation Export Management Scheme (GEMS) used in Dumfries and Galloway) and distribution networks and their impact on T&D coordinated activities. Analyse their associated technical and commercial requirements.

WS2: Develop test cases and high-level assessment of potential benefits of these test cases. Evaluate the ability of DERs to participate in ANM activities and develop network case studies reflecting different types of ANM schemes and the potential synergies and conflicts of DERs participating in ANM activities.

WS3: Identification and definition of solutions to optimise coordination of ANM schemes and ESO balancing services market

WS4: Perform a cost benefit analysis of the coordinated ANM case studies through modelling and simulation. Identify limitations imposed by commercial frameworks.

WS5: Delivery plan for practical deployment of feasible solutions. Analysis of the simulated case studies, synthesis of key findings and identification of whole system principles of operation and control hierarchies for T&D.

WS6: Identify and develop a set of recommendations, produce a report and disseminate findings.