May 23, 2024 10:00 AM

Australian networks CitiPower and Powercor and United Energy share network constraints on Piclo platform

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This press release was originally release here

Are there solutions to upgrading networks out there that aren’t just “more network”?

When parts of power networks reach their capacity, they usually get a ‘traditional’ network upgrade to supply the extra power that customers need.

These works might be a transformer upgrade or an uprated powerline, and these typical ‘poles and wires’ works help us to ensure reliable supply to customers.

But is there another way?

Are there companies out there that can deliver similar results using different technology at a lower cost? And does this create value for our customers?

That’s what Victorian networks CitiPower, Powercor and United Energy  are hoping to find out, opening up network constraints in a new platform that creates a marketplace for alternatives to traditional poles and wires work.

The online flexibility marketplace was created with global technology provider, Piclo, building from their experience internationally to offer an interactive map of local network constraints, allowing providers to match their solutions to network opportunities close to them.

CitiPower and Powercor will use the flexibility marketplace to offer funding for non‑network solution providers network-wide, with several tenders and expressions of interest expected throughout the year asking suppliers to solve constraints at a range of levels and capacities; from as low as a few dozen kilowatts, to tens of megawatts.

The first flexibility tender will offer hundreds of opportunities for providers across our networks to defer the need for upgrades, and expressions of interest are also encouraged for millions of dollars of opportunities into the future.

Powercor’s Head of Network Planning, Andrew Dinning, said he hoped providers would bid into the tenders to deliver competitive options and keep costs low for customers.

“We’re really keen to see how much the market has matured to help us deliver for our customers at a lower cost than our traditional ‘poles and wires’ alternative,” Mr Dinning said.
“This might include batteries, virtual power plants or demand management programs, we’d love to hear what’s out there today.”

Mr Dinning said Powercor’s constraint data was open and transparent and, through the Piclo marketplace, is easier to access than ever.

“Our new platform further enhances our transparency with network upgrades,” Mr Dinning said.
“Anyone can use the marketplace, look at sites we plan to upgrade, and see if they can compete with traditional network solutions to solve network constraints.”

Solutions successful in the current tender would be rewarded with multi-year contracts to provide network support that helps to meet the challenges of increasing maximum demand.

The first of the competitions have been made available on the CitiPower and Powercor Flexibility Marketplace now.

Bidding is expected to run until later this year.

About Piclo

[This notice was update on 26th March, 2024]

Piclo’s mission is to decarbonise the grid. We develop software solutions that make our energy networks smarter, flexible and more sustainable. Piclo Max, our market access platform, enables flex sellers (such as EV and battery owners) to access all electricity markets from one place. Piclo Flex, our flexibility services marketplace, enables flex buyers (system operators) to source flexible electricity from flex sellers during times of high demand or low supply.

To date, Piclo has over 300,000 registered flexible assets representing 22 GW of registered flex capacity, with flexibility contracts awarded totalling £74m and 2.6 GW+ of flexible capacity procured.

Piclo currently operates in six global markets: in the UK, supporting all six Distribution System Operators (UK Power Networks, SP Energy Networks, Electricity North West, Northern Powergrid, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and National Grid Electricity Distribution); and the Transmission System Operator (TSO) (the ESO); in Ireland (ESB Networks), Italy (E-Distribuzione), Portugal (E-REDES)); in Australia (CitiPower, Powercor); and in the United States in New York State (National Grid) and Connecticut (United Illuminating). Aside from its leading position in the UK, Piclo has a growing presence in Europe, USA and the Asia-Pacific. 

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