In the new energy future, speed is of the utmost importance 

May 12, 2021

The UK is already seen as a global leader in energy market innovation, and the speed at which the National Grid Electric System Operator (ESO) is revising its services in response to changing market conditions ensures that it will remain ahead of the game. 

Kiwi Power has rapidly responded to the changes proposed, innovating to deliver broad access to ancillary services for our customers. The most recently launched – the fast-acting, post-fault Dynamic Containment service – is the first of many UK Frequency Response products planned in.


Intermittency is increasing in energy supply 

As we look back at lessons learned in the energy sector over the past tumultuous year, the one thing we can be certain of is more change. As renewable penetration grows across our power supply, the technological and market-based challenges posed by intermittency also increase. Issues with low voltage, inertia and frequency needed rapid responses from all players in the energy system to keep the lights on, and predictions last year were that it was going to cost the National Grid ESO an estimated £826million in balancing supply (which was in abundance due to increased renewable generation) and demand (which was very suppressed due to the pandemic). 

As a response to these challenges and to provide critical support for the UK, National Grid ESO has already launched a number of new services, including Optional Downward Flexibility Management (ODFM), which offers commercial-scale renewables generators remuneration for switching off. It also revised the timings of the Response and Reserve Roadmap, launched in 2019, to speed up plans to implement Dynamic Containment, Dynamic Moderation and Dynamic Regulation, with the three together set to replace firm frequency response (FFR) over the next few years.


The first roll-out: Dynamic Containment 

The first frequency response product, Dynamic Containment, was soft beta-launched in September 2020, with the final specs for battery owners requirements evolving since then. A key point of difference between this and the current FFR service is that Dynamic Containment will be procured in 24-hour blocks on a day-ahead basis, compared to the week-ahead and month-ahead procurement of FFR, meaning we are getting closer to real-time procurement of ancillary services (at the moment, it is operating on a week-ahead basis with daily changes, but it will soon change to day-ahead). 

Due to this shortened response timeframe, Dynamic Containment is only applicable to fast-response assets such as batteries, interconnectors and flywheels. Currently, battery owners can earn £17 per MW hour (versus £6 – £12MWh for other services) as well as enjoying a slower rate of battery degradation due to less cycling and fewer charging cycles, which in itself can have significant economic implications. The launch of Dynamic Regulation in Feb 2022 – to work on specific requirements for flywheel and interconnector markets – gives a further indication of ancillary services development.


Adapting our Kiwi Fruit hardware to match new services

In response to the new technical requirements needed to participate in Dynamic Containment, and in line with its mission to simplify energy flexibility for as many entities as possible, Kiwi Power has rapidly responded to the beta-launch specs finalised in February 2021 to adapt its hardware, the Kiwi Fruit, to give battery, flywheel and interconnector owners the opportunity to take part. This contrasts with other flexibility providers who have had to develop new hardware and work with customers to replace their current models. 

Kiwi power fruit core product png

The Kiwi Fruit was designed as a sophisticated yet extremely low-cost piece of equipment that can be quickly programmed to respond to future energy needs without the need for constant upgrades. This new iteration of its programme means that the Kiwi Fruit is already in a good place to support the next round of ancillary services that National Grid ESO plan to launch. 

This means that, when Dynamic Containment officially launches later this month, we will have already implemented a solution that any compliant battery owner can use to bid into this very attractive, currently underutilized market. In fact, to encourage asset owners to participate, National Grid ESO has ringfenced some of its bidding capacity for companies like ours who have done full implementation with live monitoring. We recently helped one of our clients bring 22 of their assets onto the Dynamic Containment market. Collectively, they act as one single source of power and generate a healthy amount of profit. 


How to participate in the new Dynamic Containment market 

For energy managers looking to benefit from the rapidly evolving ancillary services in the UK energy market, Kiwi Power has everything ready to go to enable a quick and simple connection. In terms of applicable assets, you will need:

  • An asset capable of at least 1MW of continuous power delivery for 15 minutes*
  • An asset that can always provide minimum response in 0.5s and full response in 1.0s**
  • An asset that can always deliver an accuracy of ±3% of the contracted value
  • Access to GSP HV Metering and Control Breaker Position
  • Access to an asset-level metering point for Kiwi’s Metering Segment hardware, that excludes any auxiliary load
  • To supply evidence of Grid Code protection settings compliance
  • To pass National Grid’s prequalification requirements, assisted by Kiwi

* Energy limited assets participating in Dynamic Containment high+low will need to reserve additional headroom

** Including 3rd-party controller latency

We’re excited by the speed at which the energy market is changing and we want to bring others with us. If you have assets that meet the above criteria, get in touch to find out more about our Kiwi Fruit and its accompanying platform, Kiwi Core – a best-in-class Virtual Power Plant software that brings the power of our rapid innovation to your desktop. We can help you understand the new services that are launching so you are ahead of the game and ready to benefit from the rapidly changing energy landscape we see being shaped today.