SP Energy Networks in the UK has launched its largest ever tender for flexibility services in 40 locations across its licence areas in Scotland, England and North Wales. In partnership with Piclo, an independent online marketplace for trading flexibility, the network operator is looking to procure up to 650MW of flexibility over a five-year period.

The long-term contracts will be put in place for the period April 2023 to March 2028, with over 1000 sites on offer. Sites have been chosen where an increased demand on the network from electric vehicles and heating solutions is predicted.

Access to flexibility, where the provider pays connected assets such as generators, aggregators and energy storage providers to operate in ways that benefit the network, will play a crucial role in its transition to a Distribution System Operator.

The move helps the firm continue to develop smarter, more flexible network solutions which reduce the need for more traditional reinforcement methods such as new cables and substations.

Graham Campbell, head of DSO at SP Energy Networks says: “Flexibility has a critical role to play and following the success of our last flexibility tender, we’re now taking it to a far larger scale. We are bringing to the market our flexibility needs for the period 2023 to 2028, allowing flexibility providers to invest now and work with us to help the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments meet ambitious net zero targets and stimulate the green economic recovery in the UK.”

Flex providers interested in taking part can get involved by uploading their assets for asset pre-qualification from now until the window closes on 9 October. Bidding opens on October 26 before a deadline of October 30. The contracts will be awarded in December this year.