Thursday 22nd of March 2018 | Posted In: Generate, Generating energy

What “hot topics” are affecting electricity generators?

Timing is everything when it comes to maximizing your export income and Max Knowles is part of our team who has a wealth of experience doing just that. In this blog, Max tells us what the “hot topics” for electricity generators are over the next few months…

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at FEC Energy?

I joined FEC Energy in 2013. After managing energy contracts for groups of student housing properties in my previous employment, I welcomed the opportunity to broaden my experiences of the energy sector by offering support to renewable, technical and compliance-related projects for customers that generate energy.

My regular monthly tasks are gas and electricity invoice validation, invoicing suppliers for export electricity income of various streams, recharges of commodities between owners of generation plants and their users. I am also involved in more bespoke work such as contract negotiations, guidance on new connections, climate change levy returns and wayleaves queries.

I work hand in hand with the Climate Change Levy (CCL) team as well, to ensure that customers receive the correct rates of relief on their invoices. We are also always looking for ways improve their income from any power sold to the grid, through fixed or flexible type export contracts, as well as additional avenues such from grid support mechanisms (such as capacity market) or seasonal payments (such as TRIADs).

Who are your customers?

I work with anyone who has the means of generating their own electricity, whether this is a fifty-hectare greenhouse complex with multiple Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engines, arable or livestock farms with an anaerobic digestion plant or wind turbines, or poultry farms with solar panels on the sheds.

What are your “hot topics” that may affect your customers?

Reduction of TRIAD income

TRIAD payments have been a dependable source of seasonal income for non-intermittent generators for many years – essentially, this is a financial incentive for exporting power to the grid during the three greatest periods of ‘strain’ on the national grid through the winter period. However, the decision was recently made to steadily phase them out over the next three years. We have been investigating alternative sources of grid support income to replace this for our customers with dependable generation abilities, such as capacity market benefit.

Project Nexus and Gas Supply Classification

On the 01 June 2017 Project Nexus, a major shake-up of the national IT framework for the gas industry, went ‘live’. The impact of this on our customers is that all major gas supplies are now classified within four separate brackets, each with their advantages and disadvantages in terms of metering potential and associated costs. For customers who use a large volume of gas to heat their greenhouses through CHP engines and boilers, having their gas supply classified as the right profile is integral to their business, the wrong profile could mean unnecessary levels of metering and costly financial implications.

Are there any future developments or plans that customers should know about?

Over the last year, customers have been saving money on their electricity contracts by being part of our Electricity Buying group. This got us thinking, can we offer the same for export electricity, too? Can a better price for the sale of electricity be achieved by selling as a large collective, rather than as individual generating stations? As the pricing rationale on export contracts differs greatly from import, we are testing the waters before offering this to our customers. Stay tuned for updates on this in the future!  

If you have any questions about anything Max has mentioned, or think that similar services would benefit you and your business, get in touch with Max on 024 7669 8899 or email max.knowles@fec-energy.co.uk.