“Outdated ESO systems favour high carbon assets, costing consumers £150m”

National Grid ESO has been urged to urgently reform the Balancing Mechanism to enhance low carbon flexibility

Outdated IT systems and manual processes in the National Grid ESO control room result in favouring high carbon assets like fossil fuel gas turbines over cheaper and cleaner low carbon flexibility options, such as electricity storage in batteries.

That’s according to the Electricity Storage Network (ESN), which represents more than 80 organisations in the GB electricity storage sector.

The ESN sent an open letter to Fintan Slye, Executive Director of the ESO, urging swift reforms to the Balancing Mechanism.

ESN’s research indicates that batteries are being neglected over 80% of the time, potentially costing consumers £150 million annually and hindering progress towards net zero.

To address these issues, the letter calls on ESO and other stakeholders to implement faster reforms, including the inclusion of batteries in the new platform for managing the Balancing Mechanism, accelerating planned grid code changes, improving published data and enhancing performance monitoring with Ofgem.

An ESO spokesperson told Energy Live News: “We are committed to running the power system with zero carbon emissions by 2025 and recognise the importance of low carbon technologies in achieving this goal.

“Achieving this level of ambition at pace inevitably presents a number of operational challenges which we are solving through our Markets Roadmap and as part of a suite of reforms across the ESO.

“These changes have already seen the use of battery storage change dramatically in the Balancing Mechanism, with the volumes being dispatched significantly increasing over the past year.

“We agree that we need to continue to do more to ensure both that we receive accurate and timely information about these assets and that we are able to use the assets to their full potential.

“We greatly value the engagement with the ESN and its members and will continue to work collaboratively with them and the wider power sector to deliver this critical ambition.”

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