Trading platform provider Piclo is readying for launch a product that will enable its clients to trade flexibility capacity on global markets.

Starting in the UK next year, its new Piclo Max endeavour will offer sellers and buyers of flexible electricity a one stop shop for all electricity markets internationally.

The platform is designed to match flex sellers, those commanding quantities of surplus power, up with system operators, enabling an increasingly thriving flexibility market.

The firm says Piclo Max is its response to widespread calls from flex sellers to tackle barriers to market entry. It could constitute a significant step towards a fully flexible electricity system.

 Piclo CEO James Johnson said: “The launch of Piclo Max will be a crucial step in our mission to decarbonise grids.

“We are incredibly excited to take electricity and flexibility markets to the next stage, building on our track record in the UK, Europe and the US. We’ve already seen strong commitments from industry leading flex sellers, who, like us, want to make real strides towards a more aligned UK electricity market.

“Flexibility is a tangible, viable tool for decarbonisation, today. It is a proven tool for efficiently balancing the grid and reducing the cost of future grid reinforcement, globally, delivering immediate value for our customers and wider society.”

Flex buyers in the UK include National Grid ESO, responsible for national system balancing and resolving transmission grid constraints, plus six DNOs managing “last mile” distribution of electricity delivery, a need encompassing the flexibility to overcome bottlenecks on the local grid.

Flex sellers typically own and operate ‘distributed’ energy resources such as renewables generation, batteries and EVs, able to respond to system operators’ requests to modify their generation or consumption often at short notice.

According to the service provider, electricity markets’ often opaque natures mean flex sellers face many barriers in optimising revenue for their assets, each with different sets of systems and protocols.

It cites its flagship product, Piclo Flex, as providing an independent marketplace for local flexibility. More complicated however, are the different platforms for wholesale, capacity and balancing markets. This  places a huge time and cost burden on flex sellers, limiting participation and competition across the industry.

Johnson intends the debutant Piclo Max to smile on flex sellers with cost and time efficiencies as well as access to new and existing income via revenue stacking.

He estimates that, from operational assets already registered on the Piclo Flex marketplace, Piclo Max could unlock over £750 million a year in revenue stacking opportunities.

At the same time, flex buyers, including SOs at both transmission and distribution level, will gain access to a wider selection of vetted flex sellers and increased market liquidity, ensuring uninterrupted development of flexibility services.

Johnson says Piclo Max is aligned with the ambitions of policy makers and regulators, including those of UK regulator Ofgem, which in its May 2023 strategy set out ambitious plans for a flexible UK electricity system.

“The introduction of Piclo Max represents a pivotal point in the UK’s continued global flexibility leadership. The platform will transform existing electricity markets, providing flex sellers with access to all electricity market opportunities, services and insights – from capacity, wholesale, distribution flex, and local constraints markets – in a single place”, said Johnson.

The platform has already generated significant interest, he added,  across the UK’s transmission and distribution, and flex seller space.


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