Balancing mechanism widened for smaller power providers and technologies

National Grid ESO has announced that a wider range of technologies and providers will be able to access the balancing mechanism (BM) market after removing barriers to entry.

On 11 December, it confirmed that it was lowering the minimum threshold for taking part in the BM from 100MW to 1MW. This means small and aggregated units in regional networks will now be able to provide power to the grid. They will be able to register in the BM as a new type of market participant, a virtual lead party (VLP), which can provide balancing services without having to have a supply licence or pay “use of system” costs.

The ESO said that the change would improve system flexibility, allow for more renewable power to contribute to balancing the grid and bring better value to consumers.

Richard Smith, Head of Commercial at National Grid ESO, said: “Our electricity system in Great Britain is changing; we’re making it smarter and more flexible as we shift away from traditional large thermal power generation to cleaner, decentralised power. This transformation is central to the way we balance the system today, as we continue working towards being able to operate carbon free by 2025.”

National Grid ESO