UK Power Networks reaches flexibility milestone after biggest ever tender

UK Power Networks (UKPN) has now secured over 100MW of flexible power following its latest – and its biggest ever – flexibility tender.

On 16 June, it announced that it had awarded 123MW of flexible power worth £14mn, including a world first with agreements to provide flexibility on a low voltage electricity network. The tender involved 55 high voltage zones and 66 low voltage ones, serving 10% of UKPN customers, which account for around 2mn homes and businesses. Contracts are being agreed with a total of 16 different providers for 42 of the high voltage zones and 15 of the low voltage areas.

The results mean that, since 2019, UKPN has awarded flexibility contracts to 22 companies, worth over £14.5mn, for 142.3MW of power up to 2027.

The tender marks the latest stage in UKPN’s commitment to growing new markets for low carbon distributed energy resources, such as batteries and demand side response, while saving customers money on long-term investment decisions. Flexibility proposals were assessed to ensure that they benefit consumers by offering lower costs in comparison to the traditional approach of building new assets.

Head of Smart Grid Development, Sotiris Georgiopoulous, said: “Three years ago we set out Flexibility Roadmap and hitting more than 100MW is an important milestone that shows the market is really gathering pace. Flexibility is the future because it is arguably the single most important element of a decarbonised smart electricity network. It gives us the flexibility we need to enable more renewable energy and forms a crucial element of the journey towards net zero.”