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Social Energy lands fully domestic smart grid weekly trading contract with National Grid

The electricity system operator is using firm frequency response (FFR) as part of its programme of work preparing Britain’s electricity system to be able to run on purely zero-carbon electricity by 2025.

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Connecting to Social Energy’s technology enables customers to maximise their solar usage
Connecting to Social Energy’s technology enables customers to maximise their solar usage

Social Energy has secured the first ever fully domestic contract with National Grid electricity system operator (ESO) to supply week-ahead firm frequency response (FFR), following the results of a recent trial weekly auction.

 

The green energy supplier said it will use 80 per cent of its fleet of battery-powered customers to provide 4MW of FFR capacity to the ESO throughout the day.

 

Trading opportunities

 

According to Social Energy, by enabling its customers to seamlessly take part in the weekly frequency response auctions, it can ensure they benefit financially by maximising the trading opportunities through keeping a diversified portfolio.

 

FFR is one of the balancing services that an ESO uses to keep the electricity system in balance and ensure demand for power is matched by the levels of electricity generated. With thousands of domestic energy customers throughout Britain and the technology needed to take part, Social Energy claims it is positioned to deliver this service with purely domestic assets.

“Managing the frequency of electricity, through matching supply and demand is a key part of our role making sure Great Britain has safe, secure and reliable electricity”

The ESO is using FFR as part of its programme of work preparing Britain’s electricity system to be able to run on purely zero-carbon electricity by 2025 – ready to accommodate whatever quantity of renewable electricity is being generated at that time.

 

“It’s great to see a new approach in this market and a first contract made up entirely of domestic customers,” said David Spencer, new business manager at National Grid ESO.

 

“Managing the frequency of electricity, through matching supply and demand is a key part of our role making sure Great Britain has safe, secure and reliable electricity. FFR is one of the many tools we use to balance the system.”

 

Spencer continued: “It’s a great initiative helping us towards achieving our ambition of being able to operate the GB electricity system carbon free by 2025, with the services being used to balance the grid moving away from traditional sources to cleaner, decentralised power.”

 

The frequency response auction trial is a two-year project to trial the procurement of a portion of ESOs’ frequency response requirement via weekly pay-as-clear auctions. The trial, which is funded by the Network Innovation Allowance, supports core ESO forward plan deliverables to remove barriers to entry, promote competition and deliver value for end consumers.

“By expanding our portfolio of grid services to include the frequency response auctions, it enables us to secure greater benefits for our customers”

Social Energy is a new generation of energy supplier that uses smart technology to reduce its customers’ electricity bills. Homeowners can get their solar and battery system from a local approved installer and connect it to the Social Energy tariff to reduce their electricity bills by up to 70 per cent, reportedly, saving a typical household £516 per year.

 

By adding a battery and connecting it to Social Energy’s smart technology, customers will maximise their solar energy usage, receive the best price for exporting their excess energy to the grid and automatically take advantage of low or even negative priced energy.

 

Figures published by Social Energy showed two-fifths (42 per cent) of its customers saved more than 70 per cent on the electricity bill over a six-month period between January and June 2020.

 

Solar self-consumption

 

Electricity bill savings are based on actual demand and solar generation measurements, and include: tariff savings by moving from their average previous tariff rate to a Social Energy import unit rate of 14.15p/kWh; reduced grid consumption due to direct and indirect solar self-consumption.

 

“It’s fantastic to work with the National Grid ESO to supply frequency response solely from domestic assets as part of the weekly trial,” added Steve Day, chief technology officer at Social Energy.

 

“By expanding our portfolio of grid services to include the frequency response auctions, it enables us to secure greater benefits for our customers, while helping to future-proof the electricity system in Britain.”

 

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