March 27, 2024 10:00 AM

Electricity North West, Piclo, & Electron announce partnership to maximise market access for flexibility

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London, 26 March 2024 - Electricity North West is proud to announce its pioneering initiative to utilise both the Piclo Max and ElectronConnect platforms to enable flexibility service providers (FSPs) to maximise routes to participate in flexibility markets. 

This strategic approach will see Electron serving as the core market platform for Electricity North West to tender and trade flexibility services, providing a multitude of avenues for FSPs. Additionally, providers will have an alternative access point through Piclo Max, further removing barriers to entry for participation in the market.

This pioneering collaboration will make Electricity North West the first Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to bring together these two platforms to simultaneously maximise both functionality and routes to access these markets for FSPs. 

Electricity North West is one of the first few Distribution Network Operators (DNO) to leverage the groundbreaking Piclo Max platform. Launched in 2024, Piclo Max focuses on the needs of flex sellers, streamlining access to all electricity markets from a single place, and ensuring that flex sellers have the power of choice, enabling them to maximise their revenue stacking opportunities across multiple markets.

ElectronConnect is the next generation of flexibility market platform that will enable Electricity North West, to maximise the scale and value of the flexibility they procure across multiple FSPs, technology types, and time scales. Its unique integration capabilities with network monitoring and control systems unlock deeper automation and value capture. Its open ecosystem approach to design enables it to onboard FSPs directly or through any central or private onboarding platform of their choice. 

Electricity North West will be launching their Spring tender in April 2024 and FSPs will be able to access opportunities and prequalify via either platform. 

Ben Grunfeld, Strategy Director at Electricity North West, said:

“Electricity North West is firmly committed to playing a leading role in the evolution of the distribution system operation landscape. We believe that embracing innovative technologies like Piclo Max and ElectronConnect is crucial to unlocking the full potential of flexibility and delivering real benefits to our customers. This collaboration represents a significant step forward in our journey to create a more efficient, secure, and customer-centric electricity network for the North West.”

James Johnston, CEO and co-founder of Piclo, said:

“Piclo Max empowers Flex Sellers with unparalleled choice in their electricity market interactions. Our platform offers a comprehensive suite of features, from navigating live opportunities to future tenders, tailored specifically to their needs. By streamlining access to all electricity markets within a single user-friendly interface, we simplify a complex landscape. Moreover, we equip Flex Sellers with tools to accurately assess the value of their asset portfolios, facilitating efficient revenue stacking across markets.
This partnership with Electricity North West and collaboration with Electron is a significant step towards our goal of providing flex sellers access to every electricity market. Importantly, this demonstrates Piclo Max's commitment to market interoperability, as we are able to seamlessly integrate with other marketplace platforms offering Flex Sellers a seamless experience.”

Jo-Jo Hubbard, CEO and co-founder of Electron said:

"Electron is committed to growing both volume and value in flexibility markets, understanding that these features are inextricably interlinked. As such, we are delighted to have been selected by Electricity North West as the platform on which to operate their markets and deliver tangible benefits to their network and customers.
We are also excited to be collaborating with Piclo Max to enable aggregated, alternative routes into markets. We believe this sets an important and positive precedent in proving our open ecosystem thesis for data portability across platforms, maximising FSP choice while preventing asset lock in at this early stage of flexibility market development."

This collaboration will also see the North West proving the portability of asset data and the interoperability of market platforms as part of the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s (DESNZ) flexibility unlocked initiative. Electricity Northwest and Piclo will be joining the consortium led by Arup, Electron, and Energy Systems Catapult, which aims to create a defined set of open protocols and standards to enable seamless integrations between buyers and sellers across multiple markets, products, and platforms.

Electricity North West has been developing its Active Network Management with a clear vision of establishing the most digitised Distribution System Operation (DSO) management system. These cutting-edge technologies and platforms will seamlessly facilitate the procurement and operation of flexibility on their electricity network, ultimately driving enhanced value for customers across the North West region.

About Electricity North West 

Electricity North West is the distribution network operator for the North West of England covering Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria. It employs more than 2,000 people and manages more than 60,000km of overhead lines and underground cables – enough to wrap around the world one and a half times. 

The way we use electricity is changing rapidly. We’re at the forefront of energy innovation, working with local communities, key stakeholders and expert partners to ensure everyone has the power they need when they need it. We’re underway with a £2bn investment programme which started in 2023 and finishes in 2028 as we continue to operate one of the most reliable and innovative networks in Europe.

About Electron

Electron is a leading provider of marketplace software for flexibility and distributed electricity.

Electron’s vision is to unleash renewable abundance by connecting millions of distributed energy resources to thousands of coordinated markets using ElectronConnect, using a highly configurable Software as a Service platform. ElectronConnect allows electricity system operators, network utilities and municipal suppliers across the UK, Europe, and the US, to launch, operate, and coordinate local flexibility markets at scale. 

Electron provides full life-cycle support to flexibility service providers to compliment the platform, to lower barriers to entry and maximise participation in flexibility markets. Electron’s goal is to deliver a reliable and safe network, at the lowest cost, and with industry-leading customer experience.

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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