Date: April 10, 2019
Author: KiWi Power

KiWi Power’s Triad management strategy saves customers over £13 million

The 2018/19 Triad season is now over and in the past week National Grid have published the Triad dates, settlement periods and the system demand on these days, shown below. For another consecutive year, KiWi Power has successfully predicted the Triad dates, saving our customers over £13 million.

National Grid Triad dates and system peaks 2018/19

We have achieved this using our unique state of the art Triad Platform coupled with our specialist in-house data analytics and forecasting expertise. This has not been easy as Triads are becoming harder to predict. Firstly, let’s explain what a Triad peak is and why Triad avoidance is of particular importance for large energy consumers.

Triad refers to the three half-hour periods (also known as settlement periods) between November and February with the highest system demand. The Triad periods have to be separated by at least 10 clear days and National Grid uses these periods to calculate Transmission use of System charges (TNUoS) for customers with half-hour metering. These charges can be significant going as high as £55/kW in some regions of the country.

Triad management therefore serves two main purposes:

  1. By reducing consumption during times of peak demand participants help reduce stress on the Transmission system
  2. Savings made from avoiding these costs can be significant for large industrial consumers who account for about 62% of electricity consumption and therefore provide the bulk of the transmission payments.
Electricity consumption by sector
Source: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Increasing difficulty in Triad predictions

The attractiveness of Triad management means it is becoming steadily more difficult to accurately predict the three dates as more consumers add a Triad avoidance strategy to their yearly business plan. The graph below shows the maximum demand days and Triad peaks in 2017/2018 compared to 2018/2019.

Triad season comparison of peaks

There was a significant reduction in electricity consumption on the three Triad peak days this season as opposed to the peak days last season. Energy efficiency policies also play a major role in the reduction of system demand with the Government determined to implement energy efficiency measures across all sectors, reducing the stress on the Transmission network and resulting in continuously lower peak demand days.

Further challenges with Triad prediction arise from the fact that peak demand values have little consistency regarding what day of the week they fall on. We can see below that out of the ten highest demand days of the year, the majority of them seem to be Thursdays with Friday having the least (only one demand day in the top 10). 

More complications arise due to the stipulated Triad rules which state that the Triad peaks must be separated by at least 10 full days. The graph below shows that the 8 highest actual demand days for the year were concentrated around the end of January and start of February i.e. all within a 10-day period, thereby disqualifying them from being classified as a Triad peak. This makes accurate analysis and forecasting even more difficult.

10 highest peaks of the 2018/19 Triad season

The impact of temperature

As one would expect, temperature is an important factor when it comes to analysing system demand statistics and predicting Triads. We can see this below with the trends in demand generally being inversely correlated to the daily outdoor temperature. There are caveats, however, as this is not always the case. The general expectation among analysts is that a drop in temperature will signify a higher demand (and vice versa) with the possibility of a Triad peak. The 23rdof January however (which was the peak day with the highest demand) shows that this is by no means a certainty as this period coincided with an upturn in the outdoor temperature a few days earlier. 

At the same time the two other Triad peaks of the year on the 22nd of November and the 10th of December were by no means the lowest temperature periods of the winter season. Considering that temperature and weather patterns are becoming increasingly volatile it is easy to see how the difficulty of Triad prediction and management will be exacerbated over the coming years.

National Grid system demand and minimum temperature - 2018/19 Triad season

With all these factors it is understandable why some big industrial consumers choose to avoid the uncertainty, mitigate against risks and run for Triad avoidance every working day of the week between 16:00 – 18:00 which is typically when the Triad peaks occur. Nevertheless, this will no longer be a tenable solution due to new government regulations which will greatly affect Triad management strategies.

MCPD implications

In an effort to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants the UK Government has passed regulations to implement the EU Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) and went one step further in introducing the Specified Generator (SG) controls, in England and Wales. These regulations target the use of diesel generators. 

For medium to large sites, the MCPD and SG add another complication to running a Triad regime,  as operators will need to ensure that generators are run for 50 hours or less. This requires a steadfast regime that will not ask operators to run for excessive amounts of time but rather look at all factors and ensure sites are only called when absolutely necessary, thus securing Triad savings and complying with the new Environmental Permitting Regulations. 

KiWi Power hit all Triad peaks this year with a minimum runtime of 19 hours demonstrating our ability to extract the best value for our clients while operating within the strict dictates of the law.

KiWi Power battery management

KiWi Power’s portfolio of assets includes both front-of-the meter (FoM) and behind-the-meter (BtM) battery energy storage. A FoM battery is one that is connected directly to the electricity grid and derives its income from providing grid services and arbitrage to National Grid. 

During the Triad period BtM energy storage can actively reduce the peak load that a business may import, in order to reduce the TNUoS charges imposed on its electricity bill. FoM energy storage systems can earn export Triads by exporting charged power directly to the grid during peak demand periods. Both FoM and BtM energy storage can be run to reduce demand from the grid during a Triad alert. 

Triads are becoming more challenging to predict every year, so an effective warning system is vital to manage demand. For battery assets with limited duration, i.e. 1 hr systems, this is even more important, as pinpoint accuracy is needed to ensure the peak demand settlement period is hit. KiWi Power utilise our Triad forecast notifications to operate our portfolio of battery assets and effectively offset customers’ charges and secure export Triads.

Our strategy in 2018/19 was to operate assets against both Medium and High Triad alerts. In real terms, this meant 21 run events – 161MWh of discharged power, successfully hitting all three peaks.

Our commitment

Once again, KiWi Power have reliably demonstrated our ability to predict Triad peaks year in and year out. We have maintained our 100% Triad prediction success rate and have brought benefits to our customers who have saved over £13 million, and to the Transmission network.

As Triad prediction challenges increase we are confident in our continued ability to manage this important period as efficiently and accurately as possible for our clients. If you’re interested in learning more about KiWi Power’s Triad avoidance strategy and letting us handle your Triad management for next winter please get in touch.