Thameswey provides 6MW of generating capacity to help support National Grid

Thameswey Central Milton Keynes (TCMK) was set up in 2005 to build and operate a low carbon Combined heat and power (CHP) energy station. Thameswey supplies nearly 20,000 MWh of low carbon electricity per year to local homes and businesses.

Thameswey and Flexitricity

Thameswey has been reliably providing reserve energy to National Grid through Flexitricity since 2011. Along with providing Short-Term Operating Reserve (STOR) and triad management, Thameswey has played a key role in supporting Western Power Distribution (WPD) with Project FALCON.

Sean Rendall, Operations Manager at Thameswey Energy, recounts: “The entire process has been flawless from start to finish, with no interference on our core business activities. DSR provides a valuable source of revenue, and has enabled Thameswey to play its part in contributing greener reserve power supplies to the Grid…”

STOR and triad management

Using two gas CHP engines which can be made available to Flexitricity when not required for local generation, Thameswey is able to provide 6MW of generating capacity to help support National Grid during times of system stress and to support the transmission system during winter peaks.

STOR is one of National Grid’s most important tools for securing the national electricity system in real time. Fast-acting generators are held in readiness so that Flexitricity can start them when National Grid runs short of electricity. This can happen if a power station fails, or if demand is unexpectedly high.

Reserve energy is delivered to National Grid through a fully automated control and monitoring system. The two gas CHP units, each capable of providing 3MW of capacity, at Thameswey are remotely operated in response to a national or local requirement. The fully managed service optimises revenue through tight management controls and intelligent arbitraging between services. Thameswey is earning over £100,000 of DSR revenue annually.

Triad management at Thameswey is complementary to its STOR participation. During the November to February triad season, Flexitricity remotely starts generation during likely triad periods. This lowers site consumption and reduces the triad charges on the site’s electricity bills.

“The entire process has been flawless from start to finish, with no interference on our core business activities.”

Project FALCON

Through Flexitricity, Thameswey has been able to participate in WPD’s project FALCON (Flexible Approaches for Low Carbon Optimised Networks), an initiative to support the UK’s move to a low carbon economy. The aim is to test innovative, low carbon solutions for the growing problem of network constraints. As an experienced DSR provider, Thameswey generated electricity when called upon by Western Power Distribution. By doing so, Western Power Distribution were able to defer network infrastructure upgrades and reduce costs while Thameswey earned revenue.

“The fully managed service optimises revenue through tight management controls and intelligent arbitraging between services.”

The future

Through Flexitricity, Thameswey is currently participating in National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Control Capability (EFCC) trial. EFCC is developing techniques to help National Grid manage growing renewable generation and has recently been shortlisted for the Project Award in the 13th British Renewable Energy Awards. As part of the project, Flexitricity is measuring Thameswey’s contribution of ‘spinning inertia’ to the system, aiming to create a new value stream for distributed CHP generators.

The pace of change in the industry is an exciting challenge, and one that compels whole industry collaboration. As we transition into a low carbon and digitised world, demand side flexibility has an increasingly important role. Electricity system needs are evolving, at both a transmission and distribution level, and we need additional sources of flexibility to meet these needs – from an increasingly diverse range of technologies.

Power Responsive was launched in 2015 by National Grid, with the ambition of supporting the growth of demand side participation in GB electricity markets. Now in its fourth year, priorities for the programme include continued awareness raising among
I&C customers, building confidence in flexibility opportunities, and supporting the evolution of flexibility markets.

If your business has the flexibility to increase, decrease, or shift its electricity use, then the power is in your hands to take full advantage.

 

 

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