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Power network to pay businesses to help balance grid

The region’s power network operator, Electricity North West, is asking businesses in parts of Cumbria to generate more power, or reduce their energy usage at certain times, as part of a new flexible service.

Companies or individual customers who can generate electricity onto the network, or reduce how much they use at certain times, could help the network operator meet future demand at peak times, and receive payment in return.

Cara Blockley, Electricity North West’s capacity manager, said: “We’re all using more electricity and the traditional way to cope with increasing demand is to build a bigger network. But that’s expensive and disruptive, so we’re taking an innovative approach and asking customers if they can reduce demand at peak times or generate power locally in exchange for an incentive payment.”

Electricity North West is looking for customers in Coniston, and Alston and Easton near Carlisle, where local substations are close to capacity.

“We are constantly utilising new technology and alternative ways of managing our network,” adds Cara. “This will ensure we can continue to deliver an affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity supply for all our customers in the low carbon future.

“Flexible services is one of the techniques which will help us meet our customers’ needs in an industry that is constantly changing.

“We hope that by joining forces with generators, storage operators and electricity consumers, we can meet demand in an efficient and more cost-effective way that will help to reduce customers’ bills and protect the environment.”

Companies interested in providing flexible services to Electricity North West are asked to complete a questionnaire and return it by 29 May 2018.

Electricity North West will run a competitive tender for contract delivery in winter 2018/2019 and winter 2019/2020.

For more information and a copy of the questionnaire visit: www.enwl.co.uk/flexible-services.

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