By Paul Homewood
In other words, brown outs!
Ofgem has approved the national rollout of a new energy system developed by the network operator, Electricity North West (ENW), which the regulator precited could save consumers in Britain up to £1 billion.
The flexibility system, called CLASS (Customer Load Active System Services), is a voltage control solution designed to help National Grid ESO manage Britain’s power network by balancing spikes in energy demand and dips in supply.
It includes the installation of voltage controllers at substations, which allow the network operator to offer balancing operations to the ESO by making small reductions to voltage.
According to ENW, this can be done through imperceptible reductions to the amount of power being used by “everything from streetlights to industry to everyday household devices.”
Described as the “first-of-a-kind”, the system already experienced success after its deployment in the North West more than two years ago, which allowed locals to benefit from approximately £7.3 million off their electricity bills as a result.
“Our updated assessment suggests that the net economic benefit is likely to be significant. Prohibiting CLASS would narrow the set of choices available to the ESO and mean consumers faced higher electricity bills than they might otherwise do” said Ofgem in its report, approving the system.
None of this would have been necessary if we were not shutting down so much of our firm capacity.
But don’t be fooled by promises of lower bills. What they are saying is that our bills would be going up even more otherwise, thanks to intermittent renewables:
And also beware the claims of £1 billion saving. This is not an annual saving, as you might expect. The saving for the North West was estimated at £300 million over 25 years. In other words, a pittance.