Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) is a demand-side service used by National Grid to help it keep supply and demand on the electricity network in balance at all times. If there is a sudden surge in demand, or a fall in generation output, National Grid needs to call on businesses to either start generating or reduce demand by shutting down parts of their operation for short periods of time in order to bring network supply and demand back into balance.
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STOR is needed because at certain times of the day National Grid needs reserve power in the form of either generation or demand reduction to be able to deal with actual demand being greater than forecast demand and/or power plant generation unavailability. Where it is economic to do so, National Grid will procure part of this requirement ahead of time through STOR.
A STOR provider must be able to offer a minimum of 3MW or more of generation or steady demand reduction (this can be from more than one site). They must deliver full MW within 20 minutes of receiving instruction from National Grid and provide full MW for at least 2 hours when instructed. Processes suitable for STOR participation include combined heat and power plant (CHP), diesel generators, refrigeration units and pumped storage.