Smaller generators can now be paid for providing system restoration services

Elexon, the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) Manager, has implemented a change to the BSC so that smaller, distribution-connected generators that are not BSC Parties are treated the same as larger generators for payments under the BSC if system restoration services are needed.

Transmission-connected generators were previously expected to provide restoration

Restoration services are only needed in the rare event that there is a partial or total shutdown of the electricity system. When the existing BSC rules related to this were written, the expectation was that it would be transmission connected generators such as thermal plant (that are BSC Parties) receiving instructions from National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) and claiming payments under the BSC for these restoration services. 

Non-BSC Parties including renewables could now provide restoration

Ofgem approved BSC Modification P451 which took effect from 2 April 2024. The change now allows non-BSC Parties to submit claims for payments under the BSC for restoration services, if they negotiate a restoration contract with NGESO. These non-BSC Parties could include windfarms, solar farms and battery energy storage systems and they are expected to compete for restoration contracts from 2025. 

The Government’s new restoration standard

The P451 changes will help NGESO to ensure that it can comply with the Government’s new Electricity System Restoration Standard (ESRS). The new ESRS obligates NGESO to have sufficient capability and arrangements in place to restore 100% of Great Britain’s electricity demand within five days. This should also be implemented regionally, with an interim target of 60% of regional demand to be restored within 24 hours. This is part of a suite of changes that facilitate Grid Code Modification GC0156,  which implements NGESO’s new approach. NGESO must comply with this standard by 31 December 2026.  

  • See more information about GC0156

Maintaining security supply in a smarter system is essential

Elexon Chief Executive, Peter Stanley, said: “Maintaining energy security while we move to more flexible system is essential. The implementation of P451 should enhance security of supply as NGESO will have a wider range of providers to choose from when tendering for restoration contractors. An increase in the number of providers could also deliver improved value for these services, as a result of greater competition.”   

Ofgem now expects NGESO to engage with the new potential service providers in advance of tender rounds to procure restoration services.


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