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Project ENTIRE

Funding mechanismNetwork Innovation Allowance (NIA)
DurationJune 2016 - April 2019
Estimated expenditure1.8 million
Research areaCommercial
Website addresswww.flexiblepower.co.uk/
Regions
  • West Midlands
  • East Midlands

Objective(s)  

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 organization. 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. 

Problem(s)

With the successful completion of previous trials that have sought to determine the principals of Demand Response and interaction with customers to modify behaviour, project Entire will progress the understanding of customers and their operational priorities. The 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 the skills, relationships and systems necessary for a DNO to provide a comprehensive DSR capability.
 

Method(s)

Building on the successes and the learning achieved during the commercial trials in Project FALCON, this project aims to develop and test comprehensive DSR capability to control generators and customer loads. Based on our previous small scale interventions using a very manually controlled DSR arrangement it has been proven that DSR can potentially provide a valuable tool in the management of transient or temporary network issues, particularly where the case is uncertain for a large capital investment. 

We are therefore seeking to develop our understanding and capability of DSR both in terms of advanced systems that would support BaU operation, but also the operational framework that would allow DNO DSR customers to participate more in wider DSR schemes operated by other parties, including National Grid. BaU use of DSR is likely to require regulatory approval and new policies from a governance perspective as well as new systems capabilities to operate and manage.

Finally, this is not an engineering based solution and therefore skills development in the commercial DSR markets will also feature as a key deliverable.

Areas of Work

The project will be focussed on two areas within the East Midlands that have been identified as requiring new GSPs (Grid Supply Point) which are very major capital works that will take several years to complete. WPD will use the new DSR capability to reduce peak winter demands and potential constraints on the existing GSPs which are becoming increasingly heavily loaded and reduce any operational risks associated with them.

 


  • 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, commercially effective 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: 

    1. Recruit team / place contracts with partners;
    2. Develop connection policies / DSR contracts / technology and systems to facilitate services; 
    3. Stakeholder engagement and interaction including recruitment of DSR programme participants; 
    4. ‘Interaction with’ external DSR programmes to optimise commercial attractiveness of DNO DSR. 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; 
    5. 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; 
    6. Measuring direct impact of LV connected DSR on 33kV & 132kV infrastructure and establishing financial ‘use case’;
    7. 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; and 
    8. Assessment of varying DSR offerings for constraint management.
  • The success criteria of the project is defined through successful delivery of the following:

    1. 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. 
    2. 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) 
    3. 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. 
    4. 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. 
    5. 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. 
    6. Knowledge: Document and share all key learning that is achieved in order that the results should be replicable across all UK Distribution Networks. 
  • The proposed trial scope includes many areas of new learning that are of value to DNOs UK wide. These are not limited just within a specific aspect such as the new technology, and are expected to deliver results in the following areas: 

    1. Furthering the work already done to determine the potential of commercial intervention alongside or as an alternative to engineering solutions;
    2. Establishing best practice methodology and new policies relating to engaging customers in active network management;
    3. Attitudinal analysis and performance assessment of participants within commercial techniques;
    4. Financial impact assessment of commercial techniques;
    5. Development of new related policies, processes and systems to support commercial techniques; and 
    6. Development and documentation of new systems to enable successful learning to be replicated. 
  • August 2018

    Flexible Power has made significant strides in on boarding more clients onto the platform, and with zones being live, still actively recruiting for the current zones. The Flexible Power team are still receiving enquires for the service and where applicable still giving new clients the opportunity to sign up to the service.

    July 2018

    Flexible Power has successfully increased participation and there has been more interest from the wider market, and more clients are signing up to the trial which will increase the MW’s that can participate. The Flexible Power team has seen some unique technologies start applying to become a participant which is great for success of the trial. 

    June 2018

    Flexible Power has reached another milestone with payments being made for flexibility services; this is a massive leap forward for the project and for all involved, the flexible power team is reaching out to all participants to get a view of where services can be improved. 

    May 2018

    Flexible Power is now live, there have been a few teething problems but these were quickly resolved. The team is working hard to make sure that the client experience maintains the high standards of WPD. 

    April 2018

    Project Entire went live on April 1st. We have done the final stages of testing to make sure that we can make the new product as smooth as possible for all clients of the services.

    March 2018

    The project goes live on April 1st and the engagement level has risen from all sides.  Contracts have been signed with some customers and on boarding is now in progress. More participants are expected in the following month.

    February 2018

    The project goes live on April 1st and the engagement level has risen from all sides. There has been some flexibility in the approach Flexible Power have taken with clients, however the team are on track to start the trial. 

    January 2018

    The results of the CMZ have been published and 12 of the 14 CMZ’s will go ahead. The Flexible power team are now engaging with customers to take then through the process. 

    December 2017

    All the Expressions of Interest have been received and currently being processed to see which CMZ are going ahead. Once result are compiled all results will be published.

    November 2017

    Project Entire expression of interest closes on the 15/12/2017. The team have been very active in generating interest via conferences, social media, publications and direct contact. There have been some tweaks to the website to give greater detail information around the changes to the project.

    October 2017

    Project Entire is to be relaunched with tweaks to the original service and we have acted on feedback received.
    The key changes are listed below:
    Declaration times set to accommodate NG services, API interface being developed for simpler, lower cost set up, CMZ services an add on opportunity rather than a core service, The project is seeking broad participation, Continued feedback at each stage of trial, Direct Enquiries and feedback, but limited direct services, Single framework agreement contract. 

    September 2017

    WPD is still  currently reviewing the project and we will endeavour to contact you as soon as possible once we have finalised all the changes. We expect this will be possible in the coming weeks and we would like to take the opportunity to thank you in advance for your understanding and patience while we complete this vital review.
    WPD remains committed to the use of non-network solutio ns, including DSR to help deliver maximum value for customers.

    August 2017

    WPD is currently reviewing the project. With the significant ongoing industry changes and the progression towards DSO (Distribution Systems Operator) models through work-streams like the ENA’s Open Networks project and the Future Power Systems Architecture, WPD want to ensure that the trial remains as relevant as possible and delivers maximum value for our network customers.

    Through discussions with Ofgem, we are seeking to amend the project scope to take account of emerging decisions on market models. This will ensure that we continue to deliver learning to the network operators and the wider industry about the customer propositions associated with DNO led DSR.

    The review is currently underway and we will endeavour to contact you as soon as possible once we have finalised all the changes. We expect this will be possible in the coming weeks and we would like to take the opportunity to thank you in advance for your understanding and patience while we complete this vital review.

    July 2017

    There has been a big push this month on talking to all the clients that have been sent letters for the ASC reduction part of the project. There has also been a focus on getting data (as part of the process) from clients that want to participate. The team has also reached out the most of the aggregators in the DSR market to give them an overview and expectations of Project Entire. 

    June 2017

    Flexible Power added a postcode checker to the website to streamline the process for potential clients to join the trial. The team has also advanced many areas in the back office to complement the recruitment of customers.

    April 2017

    Flexible Power has relaunched the website and is now live for all public enquires.

    March 2017

    The project is now part way through the build phase and the website has now been launched. 

    February 2017

    Flexible Power plans to go live with a website and social media on the 1st April as the project has just entered the build phase. 

    January 2017

    Project Entire has been formally named Flexible Power to external clients, has entered into agreement with 3rd Parties on software and hardware for controls and is in the final stages of getting contract agreed. 

    December 2016

    Project Entire is fully focused on the selection process to choose the best hardware/software for the project to move forward.

    November 2016

    Project Entire has been formally named Flexible Power to external clients and is in the final stages of the design phase, with technology and branding being almost complete Flexible Power will have a soft launch in Q117.

    October 2016

    Project Entire has some tangible milestones that are just about to be reached, namely the new branding of Project Entire - which is going to be called Flexible Power, with a new logo, website and branding to be launched by the end of 2016. 

    We are in the final stages of the procuring systems for hardware and software and Flexible Power has engaged with the first clients to start the process of procuring flexible power.