Electricity North West launches £7m flexibility tender

Electricity North West (ENW) is seeking more than 400MW of flexibility across its network, with up to £7 million available for providers.

Its latest invitation to tender is calling for a total of 413MW from 2024-28 across 29 locations, which the distribution network operator (DNO) said could save billpayers more than £28 million by deferring costly reinforcement work.

Additionally ENW outlined a number of changes it has made, following a summer consultation, to its procurement process and technical specification which it says are to facilitate greater participation.

These include:

  • Lowering the minimum threshold for participation from 50kW to 10kW per location;
  • Removing the annual commercial qualification requirement on PicloFlex,
  • Accepting alternative metering granularity such as half hourly metering where minute by minute metering is not possible; and
  • Adopting the latest version of the Common Contract (V2.1), as agreed by the Energy Networks Association’s (ENA) Open Networks Project.

The tender is being conducted via the PicloFlex platform, with the deadline to complete commercial and technical pre-qualification on Friday 26 January 2024. The bidding window will be open from 12 – 23 February 2024.

Lois Clark, DSO commercial manager at Electricity North West, said: “We believe that collaborating with our stakeholders is the most effective way to shape our priorities and flexibility market approach.

“Responses to our latest consultation highlighted some key barriers that providers have been facing, so we have implemented changes where possible to demonstrate our commitment to accessibility and simplicity within our service offerings, ensuring equal opportunity for all.

“We look forward to incorporating more of our stakeholder’s valuable input throughout the year as we continue to work together to achieve the common goal of a net zero carbon energy future.”

It comes months after the DNO launched its largest ever flexibility tender, where the firm sought more than 1GW of flexible capacity across its region.

In March the DNO called for 1,097MW in the 12th and largest tender in its history, surpassing the 1,025MW requirement announced last year.

According to the Energy Networks Association, the six DNOs in Great Britain contracted a total of 1.9GW of flexibility in 2021/22, having tendered for at least 3.6GW.