SSEN secures flexibility services equivalent to powering 91,000 homes

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has secured 348MW of flexible energy service contracts across five sites in Scotland and two in central and southern England, enough to power approximately 91,000 homes, supporting electricity system security in a cost-effective and smart manner.

The flexible energy contracts have been secured across seven locations in both SSEN’s north and southern distribution areas. In the north of Scotland, SSEN has secured 200 megawatts (MW) of flexibility with 150 MW of these services provided across five hydropower sites in Achintee, Cassley, Port Ann, Kilmelford and Dunoon.

In SSEN’s southern central England licence area an additional 198 MW has been made available to the electricity grid across sites in Havant and Rownhams. The two sites use a combination of diesel and gas power, battery storage, and gas reciprocating engines.

SSEN now has 446.8 MW of contracted services across its network, top three among Distribution Network Operators in the UK. The flexibility has been secured using Constraint Managed Zones (CMZ) contracts, which play a vital role in supporting the delivery of a smarter electricity grid and a cost-effective transition to net zero .

CMZs provide an alternative to traditional electricity generation being used when the main electricity network is temporarily disconnected, such as during a prolonged power cut or a period of network maintenance. Rather than rely solely on diesel generators or back-up power stations, CMZs provide renewable energy generation and energy storage measures to keep the power flowing for local communities until the electricity supply is back up and running.

James Lithgow of Ormsary Farmers, the winner of the Port Ann contract, said:

“We are delighted to be involved in the move to more flexible local network management and are happy to play our part in ensuring a robust network supported by the various wind and hydro assets under our management. Our team were involved in the successful Islay CMZ in 2019 and 2020, so we know first-hand the benefits that these contracts can deliver for all concerned.”

Alex Howison, Flexible Solutions Manager for SSEN said:

“These new CMZ contracts help us in supporting the communities we serve by providing additional flexible, cost-effective and secure energy sources for the management and flexibility of the electricity network.

“CMZ contracts are a vital part of SSEN’s commitment to running a network that puts flexibility first. Today’s announcement provides an exciting example of how we are leading the way in securing safe and secure electricity solutions across Great Britain while also seeking to reduce carbon emissions and support the journey to net zero.”

SSEN is also calling on its customers to register their interest in providing 250MWs of “flexibility” to the energy system over the next eight years. Owners of low-carbon technologies, generators and solutions that can absorb demand can earn money, support network security, and the transition to net zero in a cost-effective manner. Interested customers invited to register their interest here.