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Project LEO recruits new businesses as it enters second flexibility market trial phase

Project LEO is taking place in Oxfordshire, having been announced in 2019. Image: SSEN

Project LEO is taking place in Oxfordshire, having been announced in 2019. Image: SSEN

New flexibility providers are being recruited as part of Project Local Energy Oxfordshire (LEO) in conjunction with Scottish and Southern Electricity Network’s (SSEN) TRANSITION project.

The second phase of Project LEO’s flexibility market trials began this month, with small businesses and organisations to have the opportunity to earn up to £1,200/MWh.

This second trial period will see more participants testing new services, including the requirement to decrease generation and increase demand temporarily.

Indeed, the second phase is opening up access to Project LEO's custom-built trading platform to any business and organisation operating in the project trial areas in Oxfordshire.

Potential flexibility providers are now being invited to visit the project website to express their interest.

It follows the first trial period, which ran from November 2021 to March 2022. This tested whether flexibility providers could respond to requests to either increase their generation or decrease their demand for electricity temporarily to help balance the network at peak times.

In January, TRANSITION and Project LEO announced they had successfully run a live trial of flexibility trading on a new Neutral Market Facilitator platform, which was developed by Opus One Solutions to enable a transparent marketplace that could provide access for all flexibility providers to trade flexibility.

The current trial period is to run until September 2022, offering Project LEO and TRANSITION the opportunity to test flexibility provision over a day, a week or a whole season.

Aggregator Orange Power is taking part in the Project LEO trial - describing it as a "safe testing space" - while the Low Carbon Hub, which has assets including hydro, battery storage and aggregated solar PV panels, is also participating.

Dr Barbara Hammond, CEO of the Low Carbon Hub said: "We are demonstrating the potential flexibility can have in helping us achieve our net zero goals.

"These trials are building up the bank of evidence we need to show how we can make the network more efficient to support more renewables and plug in more green technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps."

Announced in April 2019, Project LEO is a collaboration between SSEN, Piclo, Origami, Nuvve and EDF Energy’s R&D team.

It is funded through a combination of £13.8 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge fund, managed by Innovate UK, and £26 million of private funding from the project partners.

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