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Efficient Network Constraint Management through the use of Market Signals

The project will develop a market design for the efficient management of constraints on the distribution network, allowing the participation of multiple technology types, and providing a signal to the network operator when it is economically sound to reinforce.

Project-on-a-Page summary

Project data

Start date: 01/06/2016
End date: 01/08/2017
Budget: £250,000

The increasing prevalence of distributed generation (DG) creates additional challenges for balancing the system. There is also an increase in the range and number of flexibility providers on the distribution network that could be utilised to provide system services. DG, storage and flexible demand, therefore, create both a need for, and enable, more active system management at the distribution level.

Whilst a consensus is emerging that some form of Distribution System Operator (DSO) role needs to be taken on to make efficient use of distributed flexibility options, it is not clear at this stage what form the DSO model should take. There is a requirement, therefore, to explore and trial some of the possible approaches in order to develop understanding of how best to proceed.

The project will review the approach taken previously and propose new commercial strategies in order to address the challenges associated with the increased levels of DERs connected to the distribution network. Alternative approaches to managing flexible connections will be explored, including how demand side response (DSR) and storage can be better accommodated. This work will be integral to informing future DSO operation.

This UK Power Networks project looks specifically at addressing known limitations with an existing scheme of managing flexible connections, and can therefore deliver near-term benefits through more efficient use of the existing network assets and connected resources. The project builds on the extensive groundwork under UK Power Networks’ Flexible Plug and Play project, meaning that it can be quickly scaled to trial and, if successful, eventual deployment.

The use of new commercial arrangements to improve the efficiency of connection and curtailment could be applied by any network operator connecting distributed generation and storage customers to a constrained part of a distribution network. Project findings will add to the experience and evidence for all networks in the DNO to DSO evolution.

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