Statkraft, Europe’s leading provider of market access services, optimises flexible gas assets to manage UK energy system needs. Since November, these assets also provide effective support for the increasing integration of renewable generation by participating in the UK’s Balancing Mechanism, at the same time creating additional value for the asset owners.

Statkraft entered the UK Balancing Mechanism (BM) in November last year with a 20 MW highly flexible gas generation asset in South West England. Statkraft is now dynamically bidding the asset into the BM and automatically routing received schedules from National Grid to the site via its trading algorithm, Unity. Since last November, Statkraft has been instructed by National Grid an average of five times per day.

Statkraft’s being in the balancing mechanism benefits the electricity system through providing National Grid with additional fast acting flexibility options for efficiently enabling renewables to deliver an ever-increasing portion of energy consumption. At the same time the asset benefits by capturing additional value for its flexibility.

Real-time communication with grid operator

Statkraft’s trading and optimisation systems continuously feed availability and pricing for the Statkraft’s Balancing Mechanism Unit (BMU) to National Grid. When National Grid issues a Bid Offer Acceptance to Statkraft’s BMU the revised schedule for the relevant asset is instantaneously calculated and communicated to it via Statkraft’s virtual power plant. At the same time Statkraft feeds back live metering from the asset to National Grid via the same virtual power plant connection.

From the time when National Grid issues an instruction to Statkraft the flexible generator is at full load within 3 minutes, providing fast acting flexibility to stabilise the electricity system.

Duncan Dale, Vice President Market Access & New Products at Statkraft, said: “We are delighted to add value for our customers through BM participation whilst also helping to facilitate the move towards a net zero electricity system.”