Flexitricity has become the first aggregator to trade in the balancing mechanism as a virtual lead party – a key change implemented by National Grid ESO and Elexon to allow non-licensed companies to access the £1.1bn balancing market.
The company made the trade from two batteries at Philip Dennis Foodservice, a Devon-based outfit that has several batteries, plus solar PV and wind turbines on site.
The balancing mechanism (BM) is the main tool National Grid ESO uses to balance supply and demand on the electricity system in real-time. Through the BM, providers can offer to increase or decrease their generation or demand to help balance the system.
It’s a 24/7 market – and prices can sometimes become extremely lucrative for those able to respond at the right time.
Previously, only power companies with supply licences were able to access the BM. That left some aggregators unable to tap one of the deepest pools of revenue for flexible assets – unless they struck a deal with a licensed party.
National Grid ESO made opening up the BM a priority, and alongside Elexon has enabled companies to become ‘virtual lead parties’ and use an online portal to manage their BM unit portfolio.
Flexitricity director Andy Lowe said the outcome represents “a perfect example of the progress we’ve made as an industry over the last few years.
“Philip Dennis Foodservice – a small, family-owned business – is traded as part of our virtual power plant in the same, lucrative market the ‘Big Six’ are trading in.”