SP Energy Networks has signed a two-year amity deal with platform provider Piclo to enable flex services using its independent marketplace, allowing flex providers themselves to help manage the network.  The Caledonian carrier is the first UK DSO to sign up to the new end-to-end service.

Flexibility services allow connected customers to support the management of the electricity grid and receive payment for doing so.

Today’s deal enables SP to simplify the procurement process for flex providers, removing the need to set up their operations through different, often hard-to-integrate trading platforms.

Flexibility provision, including time-shifting and offsetting, offers cash rewards to network managers and aggregators. But they complain high levels of complexity and lack of standardised interaction in trades put them off participating.

Piclo’s end-to-end service aims to reduce such barriers, ultimately supporting the transition to Net Zero at the lowest overall cost for customers.

As the first UK DSO to sign up to the expanded end-to-end services on Piclo’s expanded marketplace, SP Energy Networks can now dispatch and settle flexibility services, in addition to using the platform to advertise and procure assets to meet its network needs. This simplifies the process for FSPs when it comes to providing services to the Scots operator, enabling it to achieve flexibility at scale.

SP Energy Network’s recent contract agreement with Piclo will deliver the provider’s first end-to-end system covering flex procurement and operation. SP is currently seeking over 1.5 GW of capacity across more than 1,700 locations between April 2023 and March 2028.

SP Energy Networks will also be the first to operate low voltage flexibility services via Piclo across 122 locations from November this year, which will allow domestic customers to reduce their demand during peak times while facilitating short term markets to drive market liquidity.

Piclo’s Flex software enables system operators to secure energy flexibility from aggregated providers (e.g. EV fleet operators) during times of high demand or low supply. As of 2022, Piclo Flex has 60,000 registered flexible assets and flexibility contracts awarded totalling £60million with 16 GW of flex capacity registered and 2.4 GW+ of flexible capacity procured.

Gerard Boyd, SP Energy Networks’ head of flexibility, said: “Harnessing distributed network flexibility will be key in facilitating the transition to Net Zero, at the lowest overall consumer cost.

“We need to address the challenges that Flexibility Service Providers (FSPs are facing. The latest developments with Piclo are a game-changer for us.

Piclo CEO James Johnston said:  “We’re thrilled that SP Energy Networks is the first UK DSO to sign up for our end-to-end platform offering, resulting in a radically simpler and improved experience for FSPs. Our goal has always been to increase transparency and lower transaction costs for local flexibility markets.

Across the British Isles Piclo provides flexibility services to the UK’s national Transmission System Operator (TSO), plus DSOs UK Power Networks, SP, Northern Powergrid and Electricity North West.  ESB is the firm’s biggest Irish client.   Elsewhere New York State’s grid operation is a client, as are the equivalents in Italy, Portugal and Lithuania.


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