Fast Reserve is used in addition to other energy balancing services to control frequency changes that might arise from sudden, and sometimes unpredictable changes in generation or demand. Commonly, it’s used to balance out TV pick-ups, unpredictable short term demand increases, recovery of system frequency, and loss of operation or commercial systems.
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At certain times of the day National Grid needs access to sources of extra power, in the form of either increased generation or demand reduction, in order to manage a greater than forecast electricity demand on the Great Britain Transmission System and / or unforeseen generation unavailability. Fast Reserve provides the rapid and reliable delivery of active power through an increased output from generation or a reduction in consumption from demand sources, following receipt of an electronic despatch instruction from National Grid.
A fast reserve provider must be able to start active power delivery within 2 minutes of the despatch instruction from National Grid at a delivery rate in excess of 25MW/minute, and the reserve energy should be sustainable for a minimum of 15 minutes and deliver minimum of 50MW. Participants must enter this scheme via a monthly tender process.
Flexibility providers can generate revenue by delivering a contracted level of power when instructed by National Grid, within pre-agreed parameters.