Elexon, the body tasked with delivering the Balancing and Settlement Code, has launched a new Wider Access Impact Assessment and new Testing Strategy.
The company is working to develop Wider Access, which would allow independent aggregators - or Virtual Lead Parties (VLPs) - to directly take part in the Balancing Mechanism (BM), negating the current need to trade in the BM through an affiliated licensed supplier and therefore creating a smarter, more flexible system.
This will give independent aggregators the ability to co-ordinate demand side response offers from consumers, as well as manage output from small-scale generators and electricity storage.
The change was announced with the intention of allowing aggregated units to participate in Project TERRE. The Trans-European Replacement Reserves Exchange (TERRE) project is looking to establish a platform for trading electricity for balancing means in nine nations.
Elexon's newly published Impact Assessment explores the technical changes parties will need to prepare for before Wide Access is implemented in mid-December 2019, with an exact date to be confirmed in consultation with National Grid ESO.
Great Britain's participation in the project is now more likely to see a 2020 go-live date after a derogation request was lodged with Ofgem by National Grid ESO, proposing a delay to GB joining the TERRE market. Ofgem's decision has not yet been published, but the project was originally expected to start in December.
Elexon's new Test Strategy prioritises its plans for testing the new interfaces needed for Wider Access in TERRE. Tests of these interfaces will now take place throughout November with National Grid ESO.
This is ahead of a broader test of TERRE which will take place next year.