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Aggregation of MW for participation in DC to be moved to Grid Supply Point level

National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has reached a decision that from 1 October 2021, the aggregation of flexible MW for participation in the Dynamic Containment (DC) service will take place at the Grid Supply Point (GSP) level.

National Grid ESO launched the Dynamic Containment in October last year as “a fast-acting post-fault service” that is intended to kick in “quickly and proportionally”, but is only active when frequency moves outside of operational limits.

Currently, there is a Transitional Agreement in place that enables aggregation of MW for participation in DC at the GSP group rather than at the level of individual GSP. However, National Grid ESO decided not to extend this agreement beyond September, explaining that currently, they do not have a more suitable alternative to GSP that would mitigate the risks to system balance.


Zohreh Mohammadi, Markets Manager at GridBeyond, commented:

“National Grid’s decision might be the start of moving aggregation for other ancillary programmes to GSP levels in the future. The sector knew this change would need to happen one day, but many did not expect it to be this soon.”

“Given that the threshold for participation in most ancillary programmes in GB is 1MW, finding the right assets and their aggregations becomes complicated and time consuming. There will also be further challenges with the aggregation of small behind-the-meter assets, especially those on residential sites, adding further complexity.

“Going forward, National Grid might want to consider lowering the threshold for participation in ancillary programmes to 100kW. This would open the flexibility market to more participants and align the GB’s policies with those that are used in countries with advanced grid balancing services.”

“National Grid and Elexon are already conducting an impact assessment to understand the barriers for sub-1MW market stakeholders to entry the Balancing Mechanism (BM). It is certainly time to carry a similar review for ancillary services.”


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