National Grid has begun its hunt for factories and big businesses willing to cut their demand next winter (2015/16).
Today the grid operator opened its first round of tenders to recruit large energy users into its Demand Side Balancing Reserve (DSBR) scheme.
It comes a day after a fire at Didcot B gas plant raised fears of an energy crunch. National Grid planned to enlist energy users for this service but some will see the timing as significant.
During winter weekday evenings, National Grid is offering to pay firms to turn down equipment to reduce pressure on the grid, or switch onto their own small energy sources.
It wants to find 900MW worth of energy “reserve” to turn off. It said this service would “only be used in extreme circumstances” in the “very unlikely event” there is not enough generation available to meet demand.
The tender is open from today and closes on Friday 5 December at 5pm.