Wind energy boosts system security in SSEN-first

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has announced that four renewable energy generators in Scotland have successfully secured contracts to support electricity system security and the reduction of carbon emissions, in a cost-effective manner.

SSEN has secured 5.9MW of flexibility from four renewable energy generation sites; three hydro and one wind generator on the Isle of Skye. This is the first contract to be awarded to a wind generator by SSEN and the four contracts combined provide SSEN with an additional 17.7MW of available services. 

The flexibility has been secured using Constraint Managed Zone (CMZ) contracts. CMZs are an alternative to traditional generation being used when the main electricity distribution network is temporarily disconnected, for example during a prolonged power cut or a period of network maintenance. Rather than rely on diesel generators or back-up power stations, the use of renewables and energy storage is being encouraged to keep the power flowing for local communities until the traditional electricity supply is back up and running.

Falck Renewables Wind UK own and operate Ben Aketil Wind Farm which will be demonstrating the potential for flexible wind energy to support energy system security.

Richard Dibley, managing director of Falck Renewables Wind UK said:

“We’re delighted to have signed a CMZ contract with SSEN for our Ben Aketil Wind Farm which will ensure local people have a constant supply of clean, renewable energy when other supplies fail.”

CMZ contracts are a vital part of SSEN’s toolbox to support an electricity grid that can enable a net zero future and are being utilised in both SSEN’s licence areas across the north of Scotland and central and southern England.

Today’s announcement follows successful CMZ contracts on the Isle of Islay with further contracts expected to be announced across SSEN’s licence areas in the coming months.

Alex Howison, Flexible Solutions Manager for SSEN said:

“These new CMZ contracts allow for renewable and low-carbon energy sources to play a larger role in the management and flexibility of the network. We are pleased to be working with local energy suppliers to develop solutions to balance the grid and tackle local network issues, in a way that is both cost-effective and low-carbon.”

“CMZ contracts are a core part of SSEN’s commitment to running a network that puts flexibility first. Our 2019 CMZ contracts on Islay were the UK’s first economically viable CMZ contracts with renewable energy and helped avoid approximately 2,450 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Today’s contracts build on this momentum of providing network support and flexibility through renewable and low-carbon options.”