TRIAD – The Triad charging system is a charging mechanism adopted by National Grid in the early 1990’s to 1) recoup the Network Transmission costs and 2) manage demand. TRIADS are how energy storage can help businesses with charge avoidance. Energy storage is becoming a key part of energy storage.
As one of the major challenges to the National Grid is dealing with peaks in demand for electricity, which occurs during the winter months, it is this moment of peak demand that is used to determine how much large companies (those on half hourly metering) should pay for the transmission element of their energy bill. Although half hourly metering was originally introduced for large industrial and commercial users of electricity such as steelworks, cement factories and railways, nowadays all users with more than 100kW demand are on half hourly metering.
The Triad period itself are the three half-hours of highest demand on the UK electricity transmission system between November and February each year with the proviso that they are at least 10 days apart (this is to avoid all three potentially falling on the same day if, for example, the temperature is particularly low). National Grid does not forecast the Triads and they are not known in advance. Instead they use data after the event to work out the three Triad periods. The benefit of this is that customers wanting to reduce their costs try and limit peaks throughout the entire Winter period, which therefore flattens out demand. The ‘smoothing’ effect of the Triad system on electricity demand helps to keep the network running more efficiently, reduces the need for new generators and helps to maintain the safety margin between supply and demand.