Short Term Operating Reserve contract

Your business can benefit from fluctuations in demand to the National Grid by providing short-term electricity generation from your on-site facilities.

National Grid is responsible for the UK’s electricity transmission network and is constantly working to maintain the balance between electricity demand and supply, smoothing out the imbalances that can cause power failures and damage to infrastructure.

To cope with demand fluctuations, some existing power stations are kept fired up and on standby. Although these stations are inefficient and expensive to run, replacing them is costly and takes time.

So National Grid has developed a network of third parties with generating capacity held ‘on reserve’ that can be brought on stream at any time.

What is Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR)?

STOR is a National Grid ‘reserve’ contract. It’s a real time, quick response to periods of peak demand, operating all year round (usually between the hours of 7am and 10.30pm). There are two types of STOR contract: ‘committed’ – where the generator provides capacity at any time required by the National Grid or ‘flexible’ which gives the generator more options for when they make their facilities available. Both contracts provide income for being ‘available’ with further payments made when generation is actually ‘utilised’.

Why get involved with STOR?

Because traditional methods of electricity generation are expensive and have a high environmental impact, there is a strong agenda to introduce viable alternatives. Although renewable energy generation is growing, it depends on weather conditions and can’t be relied on to meet all the National Grid’s requirements at all times.

STOR capacity is a source of additional generation for National Grid and you can benefit from a STOR contract in a number of ways:

  • Earn an income from your generation equipment – even while on standby
  • Make the most out of your assets – generators perform better when they’re regularly used and that can mean less maintenance and future repair costs
  • Help to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions
  • Improve your own environmental credentials and add to your CSR policy

STOR is easy to join, it won’t affect your business operations, it can be managed remotely by a third party aggregator and you’ll receive payment straight into your bank account.

Is STOR right for you?

Customers with self-generation capacity in excess of 3MW can contract for STOR on an individual basis. Customers with generation capacity under 3MW can participate by joining aggregation contracts with other sub 3MW participants, typically managed by a third party operator.

National Grid requires the following criteria for a site to be suitable to contract for STOR:

  • A minimum of 3MW generation available or, a joint aggregated contract of 3MW or more
  • Ability to deliver full MW within 240 minutes of instruction from National Grid
  • Ability to provide full MW for up to two hours at any one time 
  • A recovery period of no more than 20 hours between separate runnings
  • Ability to provide STOR at least 3 times per week if needed

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