UK: Balancing the Grid - Could your generation plant be turned off

By Elizabeth Reid, Hannah Roberts

05-2020

The lockdown measures introduced by the UK Government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak have unsurprisingly led to a significant reduction in consumer demand for electricity.

In an effort to help balance the grid, National Grid ESO published its ‘Optional Downward Flexibility Management Scheme’ (ODFM) on 1 May 2020 which allows small scale renewable generators to bid a service fee to turn off their generation.

Separately, on 7 May 2020 Ofgem approved a modification to the Grid Code which sets out that under emergency conditions and as a last resort, National Grid ESO may instruct a Distribution Network Operator to disconnect embedded generators connected to its system. Disconnection pursuant to the Grid Code in an emergency does not give rise to compensation for generators.

Participation in the OFDM scheme does not exclude generators from their obligations arising under the Grid Code and generators will undoubtedly be considering what impact this could have on their ability to generate power, and how they might deal with existing obligations arising from power purchase agreements in the increasingly likely circumstance of disconnection.

If you would like us to help you navigate the complexities of the ODFM scheme, or you would like us to consider how your generation plants may be affected if they’re turned off, please do get in touch.

The terms and conditions governing the scheme can be found here.