Smaller generators can now be paid for providing power during blackouts

Smaller generators can now be paid for providing restoration services in the case of nationwide blackouts.

Ofgem has approved a code modification by Elexon which stipulates that distribution-connected generators that are not Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) parties must be treated the same as larger generators for payments under the BSC if system restoration services are needed.

It means that generators and storage owners that are not signed up to the BSC can now submit claims for payments for restoration services, if they negotiate a restoration contract with the Electricity System Operator (ESO).

The code modification has been made to ensure that the ESO can comply with the government’s new Electricity System Restoration Standard (ESRS), which obligates the ESO to have sufficient capability and arrangements in place to restore 100% of Great Britain’s electricity demand within five days.

This should also be implemented regionally, with an interim target of 60% of regional demand to be restored within 24 hours.

Elexon chief executive Peter Stanley said: “Maintaining energy security while we move to more flexible system is essential.

“The implementation of [code] P451 should enhance security of supply as NGESO will have a wider range of providers to choose from when tendering for restoration contractors. An increase in the number of providers could also deliver improved value for these services, as a result of greater competition.”

The code modification builds on the ESO’s Distributed Re-Start Project which was established to encourage new providers of black start and restoration services.

At the beginning of 2019, the ESO, along with SP Energy Networks and the consultancy TNEI, launched the project to see whether the restoration of the electricity system could be undertaken from the bottom up, starting with generators connected to distribution networks.

The restoration process has traditionally taken place from the top down, starting with large synchronous fossil fuel power plants connected to the transmission network.

The Distributed Re-Start Project came to an end last year. Shortly after it’s conclusion Utility Week spoke to some of those involved about what was achieved and what’s next. Click here to access the Digital Weekly edition of Utility Week where it was published.