Scottish & Southern Energy Networks has agreed to procure flexibility and demand-side response services across its entire network, rather than just constrained areas, which SSEN calls CMZs.
The DNO said it has not set a megawatt cap on how much flexibility it will procure, nor a budget cap.
“We are committed to securing flexibility market services wherever possible in lieu of load-based reinforcement so we do not want to cap our aspirations,” a spokesperson told The Energyst.
SSEN urged anyone in its distribution areas interested in providing flexibility to register on the Piclo platform, a flexibility marketplace used by distribution operators to find service providers.
The deal is Piclo’s first commercial contract, following trials with all of the UK DNOs.
For SSEN’s requirements, providers can be individuals, communities or aggregators. All assets – from small scale renewables, batteries and electric cars, as well as load response and demand reduction/energy efficiency – can play a role, said the company.
SSEN says there is no minimum kW threshold to register an interest, but it may introduce one ahead of tenders. It has floated paying around £300/MWh for flexibility, and will initially procure four services. The split between availability and utilisation payments will vary by service:
- CMZ Prevent – the traditional CMZ product that supports the management of peak demand.
- CMZ Prepare – to support the network during planned maintenance work.
- CMZ Respond – to support the network during fault conditions as a result of maintenance work
- CMZ Restore – to support the network during faults that occur as a result of equipment failure.
SSEN plans to launch three more CMZ service types by the end of the year.
“SSEN is committed to being a neutral facilitator of local and national markets that are created by the transition to a flexible network,” said Stewart Reid, head of Future Networks at SSEN.
“To do this successfully visibility, transparency and accessibility will be key. Too often asset owners that may be considering providing flexibility services find that the process is neither clear nor simple.
“With Piclo we are hoping to address that challenge, to provide the communities in which we operate a level-playing field that supports local solutions and builds a network of flexibility providers.”
Piclo CEO James Johnstone said he is “delighted” to reach a commercial agreement with SSEN – and outlined global expansion plans.
“This deal will hopefully be the first of many, not only in the UK but with other grids across the globe which suffer from the same limitations,” he said. “The potential reach for our software is enormous.”