The Distribution System Operator (DSO) has identified a need to improve its flexibility service platforms to support increasing volumes and market participation. The prequalification process for the Market Platform section of this will begin in mid-November.  

Flexibility is the ability to shift the timing or location of the generation, storage, or consumption of electricity in response to a request. This allows SSEN to dynamically manage the network and will reduce the cost of achieving net zero for all consumers while assuring energy security.   

To enable flexibility services to be used, SSEN has been purchasing flexibility services in specific locations where there is expected network congestion in September 2023 SSEN announced the successful addition of 202 MW of flexibility services to the contracted volume. SSEN aims to expand the volume of flexibility services available to them further, and launched their Global Call procurement round in September 2023, aiming to complete this by April 2024.

A recent study by Imperial College London and the Carbon Trust highlighted the impact participating in flexibility could have. The study found that if the UK embedded a fully flexible energy system, there is the potential to deliver material net savings of between £9.6 billion and £16.7 billion per year in 2050. 

SSEN’s commitment to a ‘flexibility first’ approach aims to support the changing way customers are using the electricity network. As part of this commitment in our DSO Acceleration Strategy and Action plan published in October 2023, we reconfirmed our commitment to procuring 5 GW of flexibility services in our current price control period, known as RIIO-ED2.  
To accelerate the procurement of flexibility services, SSEN is reviewing the tools and platforms available to it. As part of this strategy, SSEN intends to issue an invitation to tender for a new Flexibility Markets Platform. Vendor pre-qualification to participate in the tender will begin Mid-November. 

Catherine Winning, Flexibility Markets Manager at SSEN said:

“As can be seen in the DSO Acceleration Strategy and Action Plan, having the right tools is an important part of our strategy.

“To grow flexibility, we encourage potential partners to be registered on Achilles and providers of flexibility services to give any ideas on things they would like to see in a new market platform.”