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Flexibility provides balance in the grid

- Norflex has shown the usefulness of utilizing market-based flexibility as a means of creating balance in the grid, but it is only when we can exploit the same resources across markets that we create the real value, says Rune Hogga, responsible for the NorFlex project at Agder Energi.

The NorFlex project aims to develop the power grid of the future by facilitating more flexible power consumption. This is an issue that is both important for society and that occupies many in the energy industry.

Rune hogga.jpgRecently, the project held one of its general meetings, which gathers broad participation of stakeholders for experience sharing related to innovative instruments for the power grid. The meeting was conducted in an appropriate format, i.e. digitally, with over 40 participants from Statnett, NODES, Glitre Energi and Agder Energi. In addition, representatives from NVE and ENOVA participated.

- We have carried out real trading of flexibility where all parties in the value chain are paid. We find that price sensitivity is high, which means that the more the grid company will pay the more flexibility is made available, explains Rune Hogga, adding:

- We have also seen how high spot prices have resulted in lower consumption. As a result, we have not seen the challenges we had expected with the winter cold combined with increased consumption.

Good experiences

An important experience now being made by both grid companies and aggregators is to identify the most correct price for flexibility.

- In our experience, market-based flexibility solutions such as NorFlex are an important supplement to the regulatory instruments that we already have today. The experience so far is very good, says Atle Ripegutu, head of system operations at Agder Energi Nett.

The grid company considers various measures to deal with bottlenecks in the grid, such as disconnectable tariff customers, switching networks, production management as well as market-based flexibility shown in NODES.

- We buy the flexibility that aggregators make available in the NODES marketplace. Here we see a positive increase in flexibility from end-users such as EV charging, public buildings, etc., but it is still far from the amount we need, explains Ripegutu.

Agder Energi Nett believes that flexibility from end users will increase as more people invest in smart solutions that allow customers to move their power needs to other times of the day when electricity is cheaper and where the load on the grid is lower.

Transparency is key

- An important finding during the pilot period is that there is flexibility among industrial customers who are currently in Statnett's regulating power market (RK/RKOM). Here we talk about loads of up to 40 MW which we also aim to make accessible for the local grid company through NODES, says Hogga.

So far, Statnett has made the first trade in local flexibility resources.

Hogga believes that the project shows that transparency and coordination of the regulations between Statnett and the grid companies are to be facilitated.

- We have shown that it is possible to gather large amounts of market-based flexibility and offer this in several markets at the same time. This also means that transparency between markets will be an important precondition for everyone who participates in the market and for us to make the best use of the resources we have, explains Hogga.

The feedback from the various aggregators participating in the project with a selection of their customers has been positive.