Flexitricity comment on National Grid calling for backup supply

Dr Alastair Martin, chief strategy officer at demand response provider Flexitricity, said: “What we’re seeing is a warning from National Grid that they are unsure there is enough supply to meet demand. In other words, things are looking tight.

“National Grid has engaged demand-side response services such as ours to fill the gap, by turning down industrial and commercial energy usage at this critical time. Although we’ve been doing this regularly for seven years, this is the first time National Grid has used the pool of contingency reserve which we created in response to the tight winter supply margins.

We have responded by lowering consumption at commercial energy users across our connected network. For this event, we’ve engaged 46 sites, most of which have delivered by turning down building ventilation. We have several hundred megawatts across the portfolio which is ready in case things get worse. In short, we’re meeting the shortfall and keeping the lights on.”

On the possible reason for the Notification of Inadequate System Margin (NISM), Dr Martin said: “At this time of year, there are often problems at power stations because of the end of the summer maintenance season. The last time National Grid issued a NISM, seven power stations failed on the same day. This time it’s unlikely to be as serious as that. But at this time of year, we also get regular demand spikes, which can make things worse if the power stations are having trouble.”

“What we do know is that the capacity margin is tighter than it’s been for decades. It is therefore reassuring to know that services such as ours have been able to respond successfully at such short notice.” 


Issued by Weber Shandwick on behalf of Flexitricity.

For more information please contact:

Dyan Owen: 0141 333 0557/ 07738 086 818/ dowen@webershandwick.com

Steven Flanagan: 0141 333 0557/ 07557 210989/  sflanagan@webershandwick.com

Natalie Buxton: Tel: 0141 333 0557/ 07770 886934/  nbuxton@webershandwick.com

Notes to Editors

About Flexitricity

Flexitricity partners with businesses throughout the UK to provide reserve electricity to National Grid.

The word “Flexitricity” means “Flexible Electricity”. The company looks for flexibility in electricity consumption and generation, creating revenue for energy users and generators using the flexibility they find.

Flexitricity was founded in 2004 by Dr Alastair Martin, a professional energy engineer with experience ranging from gigawatt-scale coal and nuclear power stations.

Based in Edinburgh, the company introduced the concept of aggregated load management and flexible generation. 

National Grid’s estimate of savings to consumers can be found at: http://www.nationalgridconnecting.com/how-dsr-could-transform-our-energy-system/

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