Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) will work with Frontier Economics to devise a method that supports its role as a neutral market facilitator of a smarter, low-carbon and flexible electricity network.
As a signatory to the Flexibility First commitment, SSEN assesses smart flexibility service markets when reviewing requirements for building significant electricity network infrastructure. With Frontier Economics, SSEN is going further by commissioning a third party to help devise a method by which network reinforcements are compared with flexibility services, so that parties interested in offering flexibility services, can be assured of a transparent and level-playing field.
The increased proliferation of low-carbon technologies has unlocked opportunities for households, communities and businesses to interact with the electricity network in a number of ways. These technologies include small-scale renewables, electric vehicles, demand side response, battery storage and even energy efficiency measures. Households, businesses and communities can utilise these technologies to offer flexibility services, and be paid for doing so.
SSEN say the work with Frontier Economics seeks to equip it with a decision-making framework that captures uncertainty and truly values the optionality that is provided by alleviating constraint with flexible services.
Andrew Roper, distribution systems operations director, said: "I welcome this important project with Frontier Economics. It represents an important step in embedding SSEN's commitment to being a neutral market facilitator of the flexibility markets created by a smarter network. This means more opportunities for households, businesses and communities that can all benefit from the flexible transition."
"This work will establish a transparent and robust methodology for selecting between conventional asset-based solutions, flexible and other smart solution investments. This represents SSEN going further than merely an audit process, but ensuring the methodology used to judge flexibility is robust."
Dan Roberts, director at Frontier Economics, added: "Exploiting the value of flexible resources will be critical as the sector evolves. As the scale and diversity of flexibility available increases, making sure we only commit to long lived investments when other alternatives have been properly considered will be critical to providing cost effective solutions for customers. Building real world uncertainty into robust decision-making frameworks is essential in this regard."