Project Local Energy Oxfordshire (LEO) has run its first end-to-end automated flexibility procurement process, in a ‘key milestone.’
It worked with software provider Piclo, which developed a series of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that allowed its Piclo Flex marketplace software to automate manual procurement practices.
This functionality integrated Piclo Flex with Scottish and South Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) – the distribution system operator (DSO) involved in the project – Neutral Market Facilitator (NMF).
The trial then saw the NMF automatically send details of local flexibility competitions to Piclo Flex, where they were advertised. This resulted in the Low Carbon Hub, a flexibility service provider registered on Piclo Flex, bidding for the flexibility contract.
Piclo Flex’s APIs then automatically delivered the provider’s bids to the NMF for assessment, following which SSEN decided to accept them.
“The successful development of this end to end API is a culmination of hard work, resilience and innovation and represents another signiﬁcant step forward for Project LEO,” said Rory Brown, stakeholder manager for Oxfordshire Projects at SSE.
“As well as showcasing exciting progress in the area of Local Energy Markets, it is also a testament to the strength of Project LEOs partnership.We look forward to more exciting developments on Project LEO over the ﬁnal 6 months of this landmark project”
DSOs are increasingly looking to procure local flexibility services to ensure the resilience and efficiency of the grid during periods of constraint. Whilst flexibility service providers, such as those with electric vehicles or battery assets, are able to benefit economically from providing the service.
The process has increasingly been moved from relying on manual data handling across players, as was done historically and incurred a higher risk of human error and barriers to participation, to an automated system.
“This trial marks a key turning point for local ﬂexibility markets,” said James Johnston, CEO and co-founder of Piclo.
“APIs are an integral tool for standardising processes, reducing operating costs, and delivering the scale, efﬁciency and closer to real-time procurement we need for a net zero energy system. We look forward to continuing our ongoing collaboration alongside the Project LEO partners.”
Project LEO was launched in April 2019, and its participants including SSEN, Piclo, Origami, Nuvve and EDF Energy. The wide ranging project includes elements such as EV charging, different energy storage technologies and smart grid capabilities.
In July, it completed its first live flexibility trade with external partner ev.energy, hailing the move as a landmark. This followed it opening up to external participants just the month before, in conjunction with SSEN’s TRANSITION project.