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Piclo records surge in flexibility providers as maiden auctions, next steps loom

Image: Piclo.

Image: Piclo.

Piclo has enlisted around 50 providers of flexibility services for its forthcoming maiden auctions as the tech platform begins to mull its next steps.

Speaking to Current±, Piclo co-founder and James Johnston revealed that since opening registrations for its online flexibility procurement platform a few weeks ago, around 50 different parties had signed up, ranging from energy suppliers, aggregators, brokers, end users, battery manufacturers and electric vehicle charging firms.

Johnston also said the size and stature of firm signing up ranged from “household names to relative unknowns”, adding that the take-up so far had been exciting.

Piclo’s online flexibility dashboard, borne out of a renewable energy procurement platform project taken on by clean supplier Good Energy and subsequently renamed Selectricity, has been adopted by five of the UK’s six DNOs, with UK Power Networks, Scottish and Southern Energy Networks and Electricity North West having listed procurement tenders so far.

It is Piclo’s ambition to have its remaining two DNOs listed before the turn of the year ahead of the forthcoming auctions as part of it pilot run, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Details of the first tranche of tenders are visible now on the dashboard, seeking services ranging from December 2019 to as far out as 2022. So far DNOs have listed for a range of demand-led congestion issues, typically during peak consumption times, however Piclo expects this to change moving forward.

“It’s really great to see that even between the three DSOs that have put on for similar use cases, there is quite a variety. We expect some different use cases to come on quite soon. The ones right now are all demand-led congestion issues, and we’re hoping to get some generation-led congestion issues added on as well, which is a very different type of flexibility product.”

Piclo is too considering the best route to commercialise the venture once its BEIS-funded trial draws to a close.

It has stressed that access to the basic procurement framework will always remain free to access from the provider’s side, allowing flexibility providers to register, make their assets visible and participate in tenders.

In the future DNOs will be expected to pay to run auctions, ensuring the platform itself is viable, however Piclo is considering a range of additional services it could offer on top, such as facilitating payments, asset ratings and analytics.

Johnston said considerations are ongoing, with the possibility of transactional charges for certain services or a subscription-based model being mulled.

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