Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) is to deploy the Piclo flexibility platform across its entire licence geography, becoming the fifth major distribution network operator (DNO) to sign up.
The news comes just days after Northern Powergrid said it would use Piclo Flex to identify flexible assets across its network, with a view to assess the potential for a national flexibility procurement platform.
Only Western Power Distribution remains as the only DNO yet to partner with Piclo to utilise its flexibility platform. It is engaged in its own local energy market project in Cornwall, working alongside Centrica to test the use of flexible demand, generation and storage across both the domestic and business sectors.
As part of its work with Piclo, formerly Open Utility, SPEN will use East Fife as a testing ground for an online marketplace where participant’s flexibility can be traded.
Under a new project dubbed FUSION, the DNO will also coordinate closely with Fife Council to test how participants can secure additional income from being flexible in their electricity usage.
At the same time, SPEN will seek to use FUSION to save on the cost of grid upgrades by instead procuring flexibility, much in the vein of the ‘flexibility first’ approach being clamoured for by the energy sector.
Colin Taylor, director of processes and technology at SPEN, said: “Being flexible with how we use and produce electricity will mean the power generated and delivered continues to meet demand but without the need for ever bigger power stations.
“Our FUSION project is an exciting new way of helping to deliver that flexibility – one which will also give a financial incentive to customers to sign up and get involved and sell their flexibility – while still providing a reliable and secure electricity supply.
“The aim is to create a new competitive marketplace where communities and customers can take control of the demand and supply of electricity in their areas. The test will be in making sure the system is simple so that there is opportunity for everyone to get involved and to save money.”
Outside of the “multi-faceted project” as SPEN has called FUSION, the DNO deploy Piclo Flex across central and southern Scotland, Merseyside and North Wales.