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Flexitricity Frontline is a fast-acting reserve service that increases electricity generation or decreases load in response to frequency deviations within the GB transmission and distribution networks.

Flexitricity Frontline unlocks new revenue from existing electricity generators and electricity consuming equipment capable of a sub 1 second response. This reserve service is procured by National Grid and complements the existing portfolio of demand response and network balancing services offered by Flexitricity.

Flexitricity created and operates the first, largest and most advanced ‘smart grid’ system in the UK. Flexitricity brings revenue to UK businesses, reduces national CO2 emissions, and helps to secure energy supplies. Most businesses are sitting on untapped sources of revenue in their electricity generators and energy consuming equipment – Flexitricity can unlock this.

Flexitricity Frontline gives organisations the ability to:

  • Create new revenue from existing assets:
    • Diesel rotary uninterruptible power supplies
    • Refrigeration and cold-storage systems
    • Other loads which can be turned down or off at very short notice
  • Benefit from income made throughout the year for the capacity declared available
  • Continue to participate in STOR, triad management and other revenue opportunities.


Flexitricity Frontline responds to a national challenge

System frequency is controlled in real time by National Grid by balancing electricity demand with generation. If there is a shortfall in generation, such as when a large power station fails, frequency can fall rapidly. Flexitricity Frontline is an automated smart grid system which aggregates frequency responsive capacity for National Grid, reducing load and starting generation within seconds of an event.

Flexitricity Frontline equips your business to participate

Prior to commencing operations, each participating site will need the following:

  • Flexitricity’s outstation, frequency relay and all necessary communication equipment;
  • Suitable power metering signal to measure responsive loads;
  • Suitable incoming mains measurement, single phase from a voltage transformer or low voltage tapping, to ensure that the frequency-sensing relay measures power at the mains side of any uninterruptible power supply.

Site security

Flexitricity’s first priority is always to ensure that all participating sites’ core business activities take priority. In addition we also:

  • Remotely monitor your site 24/7 to ensure availability for service provision
  • Offer an ‘inhibit’ control switch, which allows site staff to opt out of Flexitricity Frontline operation at any time
  • Have control systems that are designed to prevent any Flexitricity Frontline operation from occurring if the site is unable to respond

Frequency deviations large enough to trigger a Flexitricity Frontline response tend to indicate a significant event in the national electricity network. Sites that are equipped with DRUPS systems will be relatively likely to operate in these circumstances already.

Frontline derives new revenues from existing assets

As frequency deviation events are relatively rare, Flexitricity is remunerated by National Grid entirely on the availability of Flexitricity Frontline megawatt capacity. Live metering signals to Flexitricity from participating sites validate the amount of Flexitricity Frontline response available to National Grid. For each site, where availability has been accepted by National Grid in a settlement period, an availability fee is paid to Flexitricity and shared with participating sites.

Flexitricity operates several other services which can co-exist with Flexitricity Frontline in different ways:

  • Short-term operating reserve (STOR) – sites can provide a hybrid STOR/Frontline service by switching regularly between the two services. Flexitricity manages the handover seamlessly.
  • Triad management – like STOR, Flexitricity will seamlessly coordinate the interaction between triad management and Frontline. Triad management generally requires around 30 hours of running per winter, during which Frontline is temporarily suspended.
  • Distribution Network Operator (DNO) services – the requirements of DNOs vary by location, but in general these can be worked around the Frontline service.

Have some questions on our services? Find out more via our FAQs.

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