National Grid has teamed up with Epex Spot to develop and operate a new platform to host weekly frequency response auctions starting in 2019.

The two-year trial forms part of an ongoing overhaul of balancing and ancillary services launched by the electricity system operator at National Grid in June 2017.

Frequency response is used to maintain the frequency of the electricity network at a stable 50Hz when there are unexpected outages. Providers must rapidly adjust their loads on the power grid in response to instructions from the system operator.

Services are currently procured through tendering at least a month in advance, with contracts lasting up to two years. The new auctions will be held on a weekly basis for delivery starting on the same day.

Colm Murphy, head of electricity market change delivery at National Grid Electricity System Operator, said: “We are very excited to be embarking on this ground-breaking project with Epex Spot; this project is one of the key commitments in our product roadmap, and will unlock the potential of new technologies to provide frequency response.

“This is a big step on our journey to reform Great Britain’s balancing services and markets.”

The roadmap, published in December last year, included a cull of balancing services – several of them for frequency response.

Ralph Danielski, chief executive at Epex Spot, said: “It’s a brand-new and innovative market design that we are thrilled to develop jointly with National Grid.”

Epex Spot is a power exchange for prompt and spot trading. It also holds daily day-ahead and intraday auctions in the UK.

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