Wanted: more wind farms to balance grid at night

Wind farm operators are being asked to make their turbines available to balance the grid at night over the summer. In its summer outlook report yesterday, the National Grid said […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Wind farm operators are being asked to make their turbines available to balance the grid at night over the summer.

In its summer outlook report yesterday, the National Grid said it would like more large wind farms to step forward and be more “flexible”.

Wind farms bid to provide UK power via the balancing mechanism. Some only offer higher prices so they are less likely to be called on to turn their turbines on or off more frequently.

In its outlook, the National Grid said: “As demand drops over the summer and fewer flexible generators run overnight, it will be necessary to call upon large wind farms to provide these services.

“We encourage those wind farms and generators that currently do not meet their obligations to provide these services to do so as it will help us manage periods of low demand more efficiently and economically.”

The UK’s national wind body said it is working closely with National Grid to help wind farms sign agreements for a range of technical services to help the electricity system.

Jennifer Webber, RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs said: “The services include things like constraints management, frequency response and reactive power provision which wind generation can often provide more effectively than thermal plant.

“This means that the clean power we produce will at the same time help with an economic, efficient and secure electricity system, saving money on consumer electricity bills and continuing to match levels of demand even more closely.”