Accelerated Loss of Mains Program

Ensuring the UK distributed generation stays on during extended low system frequency.

One of the main reasons the ENA G59 export and mains paralleling process was updated under a EU directive to G99 was to protect the transmission and distribution system against loss of system inertia that is inevitable as countries move from large coal generation to renewable generation. The new G99 process ensures all new export generation are able to “ride through” such loss of system intertia events as the UK recently experienced. However it does not cover existing export generation systems as was witnessed when over 1GW of distributed generation tripped off on low frequency instead of supporting the system.

It is estimated that there are approximately 50,000 generation sites (mainly distributed generation such as PV, wind turbines, diesel generation, with a total capacity of 15GW that do not comply with the latest Loss Of Mains (LOM) protection standards required under G99. An inadvertent disconnection of these relays could intensify a large frequency excursion with a consequential loss of demand, as was the recent case with the large national blackout and failure of the rail system.

To prevent future issues and to improve system balancing NG, DNOs and IDNOs are undertaking an initiative to manage the upgrade of LOM protection relays for generators. This will apply to all distributed generation with:

  • Long term paralleling arrangements that were connected prior to February 2018
  • Vector shift (VS) or Rate of Change of Frequency (RoCof) relays with setting more sensitive than required by Grid Code (i.e. G59/4)

The only LOM protection that is permitted is RoCof, with a setting of 1Hz/s and a time delay of 500ms. Vector Shift (VS) and the old RoCof settings of 0.125Hz/s are no longer permitted as LOM protection.

The owners of such Generation have until May 2022 to comply with the initiative. Costs of the upgrade will be funded by NG’s Balancing Services Use of System (BSUoS) and owners who upgrade their relays will be recompensed by their DNO/IDNO.

G99 Professional Services have significant G99 liason experience with the DNOs as well as G99 testing and commissioning. We would recommend owners to comply with the Grid Code and to take advantage of the payment scheme and avoid the risk of having action being taken against them for non-compliance as well ensuring that in the event of such a system issue their assets will continue to generate as opposed to tripping off.

Calls for government incentives to encourage investment in battery storage

Obtaining project export capability and capacity upgrades for battery storage or EV infrastructure projects can be extremely daunting and time consuming. G99 Professional Services aims to take away the strain and hassle.

Speaking at The Energyst Event, G99’s Mark Thomas said there is a need for government incentives to encourage investment in battery storage.

"If we are going to get rid of gas-fired power stations, we will need more battery storage than we have at the moment. Once the costs come down and we have more Government support, it will really take off," commented Thomas.

G99’s Steven Cook added that businesses need to get on board with carbon reduction, including connection of electric vehicles and improving the efficiency of their assets (particularly transformers), while there are also opportunities to participate in load shifting using battery storage and solar.

The company can help businesses with management of the new G99 application process and capacity upgrade requests with the DNO’s, independent financial modelling and assessment of the project, project management including design and build capability, project testing (including G99 testing) and acceptance on behalf of the client. To view an exclusive interview with Steven Cook and Mark Thomas, on the challenges and opportunities in 2019, click here...

What’s going on with the Medium Combustion Plant Directive?

The Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) was legislated last month (January 2018). And with an estimation of over 30K Medium Combustion Plants in England and Wales, its impact on TRIADs and STOR may take business by surprise. So, here’s a quick update to make sure you’re informed and can take action. What’s a Medium Combustion Plant?

In the context of thinking about TRIADs and STOR typically it’s a diesel or gas back-up generator. To be classified as a MCP the rated thermal input will fall between one and 50MW for any single piece of equipment. The category also includes any appliance, for instance boilers, that has the same thermal input range and uses fuel to generate electricity or heat.

And what’s the Medium Combustion Plant Directive?

It’s a new piece of EU wide legislation designed to control Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and dust emissions from MCPs, with an aim of reducing the risk to health and the environment.

According to the Consultation on reducing emissions from Medium Combustion Plants and Generators to improve air quality “The combined impact of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM) pollution in the UK is estimated to lead to the equivalent of approximately 50,000 premature deaths per year, at a cost of around £30 billion per year. Air pollution also damages biodiversity and reduces crop yields” The MCPD requires all affected equipment to be registered, emissions monitored and reported. Limits on the levels of allowed pollutants are dependent on the characteristics of the equipment (including age, fuel, usage and size).

Exceptions, TRIADs and STOR

There are exclusions; the directive does not apply to standby and back-up generators that are used for emergency power only and that operate for under fifty hours each year. However, this is not necessarily good news, because this also excludes the same standby and back-up generators from participating in the TRIAD and STOR schemes. This change has the potential to substantially increase the grid charges that the associated businesses pay, and removes a lucrative income stream.

What should you do now?

This is a complex piece of legislation, with its detail around different MCP characteristics and range of timings. Capped emission values will be applied from December 2018 for new equipment. For existing equipment, dependent on thermal input levels, the directive applies from 2025 or 2030.

G59 Professional Services recommend as a minimum all businesses with MCPs, or who think that their equipment might be classed as MCPs, should start the process of documentation now. This should include accurate recording of the thermal input and emissions output, and associated income saved through participation in the TRIAD scheme or created through STOR.

This will equip businesses to make informed decisions about how to continue to maximise a financial return, for instance through investment in emissions abatement technology, and will ensure that their reporting is ready.

We’re here to help

All things Demand Side Response (DSR) related are our area of expertise.

We can review your current plant and advise what emissions caps are set for each piece of equipment, we can run emissions testing to confirm whether you’re hitting the targets, we’ll give you full reports including advised next steps taking into consideration DSR revenue streams. We can support your portfolio wide information gathering, reporting and confirm compliance. And we can advise on investment in new MCP or on abatement technologies.

Why not get in touch now to get started? Just give us a call, or come and see us at The Energyst Event 17 – 18th April

Energyst Article November 2017

Click to download our latest article in The Energyst Magazine

"Mark Thomas and Steven Cook, founders of specialist consultancy G59 Professional Services, outline the challenge of connecting assets to the distribution network and solutions to help firms avoid cost, frustration and delay....."

"Watt" Do You Know, Batteries Are Big News

October 2017 - Steve Cook

Out of nowhere, in the last couple of years battery storage has become news. With publicity from Elon Musk’s venture to build the biggest battery in the world (100 megawatts) in 100 days, it is fast becoming a reality that effective storage - coupled with renewables - can significantly power our lives. Renewable generation is certainly on the increase, with 2017 a record breaking year in the UK. The 21 st April saw the first day of coal-free generation, with renewables supplying over 18% of the UK’s electricity. Q2 saw onshore wind generation increased by 50% to 6.0 TWh, while offshore wind rose by 22% to 4.0 TWh.

Increases in renewables bring their own challenges; fluctuations in power are hard to predict and plan for, and don’t necessarily align with usage. From a macro perspective, battery storage is part of the ‘fix’ for these fluctuations, supporting grid balancing; from a business perspective, battery storage is part of a commercially sound and savvy solution.

At the breakfast briefing, launching the energyst’s 2017 Battery Storage Report, a diverse panel of experts presented the latest information affecting battery storage. Topics for discussion covered generation mix and grid balancing, case studies, a big-six perspective, revenue stream options and of course, the raft of consultations that are in progress. The take-away for us is that businesses are keen to take advantage of the opportunities, but are wary to invest while there is regulatory and financial uncertainty. The case for taking more control of your own energy is positive but complex – because different businesses will have their own lead motivations. These could be budget certainty through peak price and TRIAD avoidance, access to resilient back-up power or commitment to the environment through enabling the penetration of renewables onto the grid.

Working with experts who are immersed in the latest developments for battery storage, to help you define and create a robust business case and taking into account your particular objectives will be essential.

At G59 Professional Services we specialise in providing technical expertise and hands on support to help businesses with their Demand Side Response requirements. Keeping fully informed is just part of what we do, to make sure that a move to DSR is trouble free and profitable. Elon Musk - with his 100-day big battery challenge - is well known as a visionary and a pioneer. However, here in the UK, no matter what the outcome from the current consultations concerning generation and storage, the increasing contribution of renewable generation sources to meet demand, will inevitably, if perhaps somewhat more cautiously, push battery storage forward.

Mark Thomas - G59 Professional Services

Businesses turn to G59 Professional Services for DSR benefits

September 2017 - Mark Thomas

Making money and saving money by clever Demand Side Response (DSR) activities seems too good to be true; by just temporarily switching energy source from grid, to battery or on-site generation, businesses could reduce charges, manage peak prices and access new revenue streams.

So, what’s the catch? Fundamentally for DSR there isn’t one, but to access the full range of benefits your assets must be synchronised with the grid, and the relevant District Network Operator (DNO) must be in agreement.

That’s where G59 Professional Services come into the picture. Having already handled the tricky technical assessments, financial modelling and project management for Blue Chip companies, including Marks and Spencer, myself and my co-director Steve Cook were well aware of the complexities and potential pitfalls facing companies who wished to take advantage of DSR.

Unintentionally we developed a reputation as the go-to team; to take a business from considering whether DSR was the right fit for them, through to being fully operational. Moreover, we were sought out by recommendation as the people that could take away the difficulties inherent in doing this.

Recognising the need for an independent, technically proficient, well-connected company to support businesses on their journey to DSR, we set up G59 Professional Services. We’re both Chartered Electrical engineers, specialists in in G59/3 applications, financial modelling, technical specifications and project management. We are not just enabling businesses to participate in DSR but ensuring optimal returns.

If you want to find out more about us, and about DSR then you can download The Energyst 2017 DSR report. Or you can meet us at the Battery Storage Breakfast Briefing. Or just give us a call and we can talk about the best next steps.

Mark Thomas - G59 Professional Services


Dr Maria Spyrou describing how Marks & Spencer have successfully executed their Demand Response Project.


DSR Event 2017 Banking Hall.


Mark THomas - G59 Professional Services & Maria Spyrou discuss with WPD & UKPN opportunities and lessons learnt from their successful Demand Response Project


Mark Thomas - G59 Professional Services & Dr Maria Spyrou - Marks & Spencer Discuss DSR future opportunities.