Flexibility trading pioneer Piclo and National Grid’s Electricity Distribution division today launched a strategic partnership, aimed at easing access for Flexibility Service Providers (FSPs) into new local markets.

The start-up has signed up more than 150 present or potential flex sellers combining 60,000 assets, including batteries and other dispatchable power storage.  From this month, Piclo will offer them direct access to the NG’s opportunities in low voltage flexibility, promising chances to trade a claimed 90MW of local capacity.

At its simplest, flexibility unlocks cash value to power users, traders and aggregators from the first-named’s ability to time-shift or cut electricity consumption.  As Britain’s electricity system increased in recent decades its reliance on intermittent renewables, such buffering and balancing mechanism grows in value.  Thus the National Grid argues it makes evert greater business sense to maximise market participation by FSPs.

With three DNOs – Northern Powergrid, Scottish Power EN and SSEN – the NG’s distribution unit already operates Flexible Power, a service interrogating the four firms’ database of local assets.

Now National Grid’s partnership with Piclo goes further, building interfaces into a fuller Market Gateway platform. This environment enables FSPs operating via Piclo’s platform to access seamlessly and participate in National Grid’s local distribution territories.

In November 2023, Piclo announced its new product Piclo Max, which it billed as the world’s first solution enabling access to all electricity markets from one place.

The partnership with National Grid is the first stage of Piclo’s ambition to enable flex sellers to access all six local flexibility markets from Piclo Max, with further UK electricity markets throughout 2024.

Later expansion into overseas, even global, markets is explicitly flagged by the partners.  Flex transactions for Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Lithuania and the state of New York are already settled across Piclo’s London-based trading platforms.

CEO James Johnston co-founded Piclo in 2013.  He said today: “This collaboration with NG is all about unlocking the potential of market interoperability.

“For the first time, FSPs have a choice regarding how they experience and interact with UK flex markets. It’s a significant milestone for market accessibility and a critical step towards enabling revenue stacking”.

Matt Watson, National Grid’s head of commercial and operability, responded: “This is our first step towards opening up our Market Gateway platform for wider market entry and the interfaces we’re developing with Piclo will provide FSPs with greater choice on how they enter the distribution flexibility market.

“We hope to see an increase in the offers available to us and importantly we’ll be able to make fair decisions on market clearing regardless of which platform the FSP trades through.”


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