National Grid ESO and N-SIDE launch a collaboration on Ancillary Services Market

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This announcement marks the selection of N-SIDE as National Grid ESO’s strategic partner to develop an Enduring Auction Capability (EAC) platform.

National Grid ESO (NGESO) currently operates markets which are procured at various times through different formats and technologies. They are seeking to utilise a consistent procurement route that creates a uniform submission process, making it easier for providers to participate across multiple ancillary service markets. Within the RIIO-2 business plan, NGESO is committed to moving the procurement of ancillary services closer to real-time through competitive and transparent markets. Developing their auction capability is key in meeting these goals.

N-SIDE has been selected as their strategic partner to help them deliver enhanced functionality and procurement improvements to their markets. We will leverage our proprietary Power Matching Algorithm solution, which is already used by several TSOs and Power Exchanges worldwide, to perform a co-optimisation across various ancillary services.  We will also be supported by SOOPS and FTI Consulting.

Following a competitive tender process, we can now start to develop a strategic solution which will serve a proportion of the future ancillary services, with the new response and reserve markets identified as suitable services to transition.

Some of the key benefits that N-SIDE will provide are:

  • Leading auction expertise and the ability to co-create the optimal solution for NGESO’s obligations and commitments.
  • Flexible and configurable solution to support multiple assessment algorithms across multiple markets.
  • Ability to deliver a modular solution that interfaces with other NGESO systems under development, such as the Single Markets Platform (SMP).
  • Robust, intuitive user experience for both NGESO and industry users.
  • Ability to operate and configure multiple markets with large volumes of bids and participants.
  • Robust level of security resilience and support.


Closer to real-time procurement

  • Increased market liquidity & participation
  • Increased technology variation (e.g. renewables & demand flexibility)

Consistent procurement route

  • Enhanced transparency of our procurement activities
  • Lower costs to move between services
  • Reduced duplication of resource for bidding into our services

Better user experience

  • Fewer manual, duplicated processes
  • Increased use of technology to facilitate bidding

Connected & co-optimised auctions for ancillary services

  • Efficient markets due to clearer price signals
  • Easy access across multiple markets
  • Greater diversity in bidding strategies (e.g. curtailable bids)

NGESO will be updating industry in due course and providing industry with plenty of notice of how stakeholders can get involved with the development, shaping, testing and implementation phase of this project.