ESO tested flexibility services procurement

Posted by Ina Vaitiekutė

This year, ESO collaborated with four market participants to carry out a trial run for procuring flexibility services. The aim was to navigate the processes involved in public procurement and assess whether this method of acquiring flexibility services is beneficial for both the distribution system operator and market players, specifically aggregators.

Last year, ESO was investigating options to acquire flexibility via a specialized market platform dedicated for these services. However, this year, the decision was made to examine how this procedure would function through Lithuania’s central public procurement portal.

Pilot participants found the procurement procedures manageable and didn't perceive this approach as overly challenging and they see such approach as a reasonable way to offer their flexibility.

Four companies—Fusebox, Balancy Grid, ENV POWER, and Stuart Energy—engaged in the pilot program for offering flexibility services to distribution system operator. The resources under the management of these market participants, essential for delivering flexibility, encompassed batteries, charging stations for electric vehicles, and industrial facilities.

The flexibility that was procured was a long-term active power service acquired months to years in advance and primarily used for congestion management. When this service is procured, a specific amount of power is reserved at a particular location within the distribution grid. It is then activated according to the need during hours when the grid is overloaded.

A power reservation totaling 179 kW was acquired, and throughout the demonstration, there were 16 instances of energy activation. These activations amounted to a total of 482 kWh for up regulation (increasing power output or reducing energy consumption) and 139 kWh for down regulation (reducing power output or increasing energy consumption).

Following the activation of flexibility, ESO conducted baseline calculations to verify the accuracy of these activations. The findings revealed that 70% of the time, the requested flexibility was delivered as required. However, in 30% of the instances, there were minor discrepancies where flexibility services were supplied not in full amount.

These findings offer two main insights: Firstly, there's room for enhancing the current baseline methodology, particularly in accommodating situations where facilities utilize solar panels, as solar production can alter the typical consumption pattern of the end-user. Additionally, abrupt weather changes can significantly impact the baseline (e.g. heatwaves can lead to increased energy usage due to air conditioning). Secondly, aggregators have an opportunity to improve their asset management practices addressing these factors effectively.

Want to know more? Contact our Innovation expert Ina Vaitiekutė – [email protected]

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