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Upside Energy integrates battery assets into operational metering in BM

The 49MW Red Scar battery site. Image: Gresham House.

The 49MW Red Scar battery site. Image: Gresham House.

Upside Energy has become the first company to integrate battery assets into operational metering for the Balancing Mechanism, easing the path for smaller battery asset operators.

It used National Grid ESO’s new wider access MQTT interface, which was develop in collaboration with the company, who offered expertise, testing support and the creation of its own, new client connector.

All previous data integrations used standard SCADA protocols and dedicated VPN links, which take longer to set up and generally cost more than the MQTT interface.

The first integrations went live on 2 September, using two sites owned by Gresham House Energy Storage Fund that are optimised by Habitat Energy – the 20MW Roundponds site and the 49MW Red Scar site.

In under 48 hours, the two sites were connected using Upside's MQTT interface platform. This can therefore now offer a route to market for customers who own or trade battery storage assets, and want to meet operational metering requirements so they can participate in the balancing mechanism much faster than previous methods.

Upside CEO Devrim Celal said the company had worked very closely with the grid operator to establish this new route to market for technologies, allowing them to enter the balancing market with an “astounding” speed and ease.

“I’m sure that very soon it will become the standard but we are very proud to have been the first to market with this new technology.”

National Grid ESO’s cloud-based data concentrator interface for operational metering – the MQTT interface that Upside Energy developed a client connector for – supports the growing number of smaller market participants keen to play a role in the balancing mechanism.

As technology has changed and adapted in recent years, with greater intermittent renewables on the grid leading to a need for more balancing systems, an increasing number of smaller asset owners have been keen to take advantage of this demand for balancing services.

Upside Energy and National Grid ESO’s MQTT interface will help meet this need, allowing smaller participants to provide and array of metering data, depending on the type of technology they are using.

Carolina Tortora, head of innovation strategy and digital transformation at National Grid ESO, said that removing barriers to providers and technologies entering the balancing market is “crucial in making sure Britain’s electricity system is as flexible and secure as possible".

“By innovating with industry in this way to widen access still further, we’re opening up new opportunities to diversify the energy mix and take another step towards being able to operate the grid with zero carbon by 2025.”

National Grid ESO have been working to broaden the access to market for the balancing market, as part of its Wider Access program.

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