When it comes to participating in grid services, size matters. But many distributed energy resources are smaller than the size required. In addition in the UK aggregated unit need to be physically located within the same Grid Supply Point (GSP) area. This presents two problems : market access and locational challenges. However, there are benefits in aggregating smaller units. On their own smaller sub-1MW units provide minimal frequency response value, but, when aggregated together, deliver significant value for grid balancing services. Both of these points are especially prevalent with the decommissioning of the Dynamic Fast Frequency Response (DFFR) service in Q4 of this year.
On 1 September GridBeyond marked a milestone in these efforts, announcing that it’s actively bidding an aggregation of three behind-the-meter battery systems into National Grid ESO’s new dynamic services (Dynamic Containment (DC), Dynamic Moderation (DM), Dynamic Regulation (DR)). Using the structures and the rules in place, GridBeyond’s first aggregated DC/DM/DR unit aims to prove that behind-the-meter distributed storage can be an asset to the system while delivering significant value for our customers.
But tying together distributed resources to meet these scale requirements is both a technical and a policy challenge. First, we’ve got to prove that lots of independently located and controlled systems can respond as a unit. Second, we’ve got to create the grid programs and market mechanisms that permit these aggregated resources to play the roles this capability opens up to them.
“The journey to this point was not without difficulty” commented Seamus King Head of Trading – “We have faced numerous obstacles we have needed to tackle, included but not limited to dealing with different frequencies at different sites, testing at a set time across different sites, managing different import/export agreements, varying site loads, getting the correct response from different assets within one unit and aggregating different types of batteries together (model, capacity etc.). Had it not been for the capability of our engineering department, today’s market go-live would not have been possible”.