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SP Energy Networks (SPEN) is to launch its largest ever flexibility tender tomorrow (30 April).

Graham Campbell, head of distribution systems operation at SPEN, exclusively revealed at Utility Week’s Future Networks Conference that the company is seeking to procure 1.4GW of flexibility for 2023 to 2028.

It follows the most recent tender, launched in October, to secure 960MW of flexibility. Campbell told the conference bids of 343MW had been received and SPEN is currently contracting for 140MW.

He said this was the most successful tender to date and that SPEN increasingly sees flexibility “as business as usual and becoming more prevalent.

He added: “We see flexibility as having a critical role in delivering some of the challenges we face.”

Asked about the type of providers coming forward, Campbell said: “We are seeing a very diverse mixture – from aggregators in the lowest voltage network to direct contracts with generators or large-scale demand side response for some of the higher voltage networks.

“It’s really encouraging seeing what’s coming through but we know there’s more out there though. I think there are still a significant number of flexibility providers that don’t know they can provide flexibility because they’re not necessarily sure of the capability of their assets.”

He added: “Flexibility isn’t only a longer term tool for us but I really do see shorter term markets developing over the next few years to help us manage the networks.”