National Grid, the operator of the UK’s electricity system, is pressing for a rule change that would allow it to own storage, one of the key technologies that will help Britain keep the lights on in future. The move would pit National Grid against electricity generators such as the “big six” utilities, which are also keen on developing more storage to make sure the UK has sufficient power during times when renewables such as wind and solar are not operating because of weather conditions. Under current rules, National Grid and also distribution network operators – which own and maintain electricity cables locally – are not allowed to expand into storage as it is seen as a “generation” activity. Storage absorbs electricity when too much is being generated and then releases it when there is high demand. It is also seen as a critical way of helping to balance the electricity system, particularly at times when wind farms and solar are generating too much power for the network to cope with.
FT 2nd April 2017 read more »