SmartestEnergy add 20MW of gas peaking plant to their Smart Generation portfolio
Company news

Enablement works took place during the coronavirus lockdown period, demonstrating the company’s ability to continue to deliver key enablement works to help customers in accessing new revenue streams.

SmartestEnergy has completed enablement works to provide an existing 20MW gas engine site with access to new energy markets, including the Balancing Mechanism (BM). Notably, enablement works were carried out while the site was operational and during the height of the coronavirus lockdown, with SmartestEnergy’s Engineering Team taking special control measures. The project dispatched its full capacity into the BM within a week of the agreement commencing.

With this site addition, SmartestEnergy’s ever-growing peaking project portfolio has grown to 117MW, helping to further enable deployment of a low-carbon energy system as the UK aims to reach net-zero.

The significance of enablement works taking place during Covid-19:

In many ways, SmartestEnergy was fortunate to continue with enablement works, requiring the on-site configuration of assets to prepare this existing 20MW gas site for participation in the BM. Elsewhere in the industry, many sites have been less fortunate, especially new build sites that require upfront installation works. During the Covid-19 lockdown, new installations, connections and verifications have been halted, as Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) have prioritised emergency works.

Commenting on the situation, Phil Edwards, SmartestEnergy’s Senior Engineer said, “We’ve been able to continue ‘business as usual’ across all facets of our Supply and Smart Generation businesses, but I’m most proud of us being able to continue as planned with on-site engineering works. It’s required extra planning and controls, as well as a heightened amount of coordination with all parties to adjust and deliver on plans, but it’s been worth it to support another large customer site in gaining access to new energy markets.”

Head of Sales for SmartGeneration, Angus Widdowson added, “We’re delighted to be able to welcome this project into our portfolio. Having provided optimisation services for a number of other projects, we’ve been able to demonstrate our expertise in optimising gas peaking assets. As a naturally complementary technology to renewables, we’re proud to be delivering value for these kind of projects as we look to help enable the UK’s future, lower-carbon energy mix.”

Why the BM is of interest to customers:

Between April and May, generation assets contracting with SmartestEnergy dispatched 3,347MWhs into the BM at an average price of £55/MWh.

With demand reaching historic lows as a result of lockdown measures, flexible generation as never had more opportunity to take advantage of the BM, with around 7.1TWh worth of actions accepted throughout April and May – more than double the 3.3TWh for the same period in 2019.