December 16, 2022 12:00 AM

Piclo to support National Grid ESO’s new Local Constraint Market in Scotland

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  • National Grid ESO has selected the Piclo Flex platform for its first Local Constraint Market (LCM) in Scotland to help manage increasingly constrained boundaries 
  • With the planned growth in wind generation, the aim is to reduce some of the system operation costs by harnessing lower cost flexibility from distributed energy resources
  • The new market will respond at times of peak north-south energy flow, inviting bids from a wide range of assets, including EVs, batteries and pumped hydro stations, utilising excess wind generated energy that otherwise have been curtailed by paying Balancing Mechanism (BM) units
  • Some smaller more flexible local generators that are not already taking part in the BM may also take part by offering more cost-effective flexibility to the grid
  • The LCM is targeted specifically at the B6 boundary with the objective of reducing the annual constraint spend

LONDON, 16 December 2022 – After a competitive tender process, Piclo has been selected by National Grid to run a Local Constraint Market (LCM) in a move to clamp down on one of the fastest rising constraints costs of operating the power grid in the UK.

The new initiative will allow Scottish homes and businesses to benefit by helping to manage peak wind energy flows and participate in creating a local marketplace that diverts extra wind power into local assets at times when southward flows are at capacity – benefiting everyone from those who are charging EVs, businesses with battery storage and even iconic Scottish pumped hydro stations that have pioneered renewables in the region for decades.

The new market will bring operating costs down for critical transmission grid balancing and redirect money back to customers at a time of high energy prices. In addition, it will support more local, low cost, energy to be used as prices soar as a result of the war in Ukraine, the recent cold weather and the closure of Nord Stream 1. 

James Johnston, CEO at Piclo said: 

“We cannot address the energy crisis or reach net zero if we continue turning off wind power at a time when power prices are soaring. Currently it must be done because there is simply no mechanism to divert that power. Now with the Local Constraint Market we can work with National Grid ESO to give local businesses, consumers, and industry the opportunity to absorb that power that would otherwise be wasted, while reducing costs in the process.”  

The Piclo Flex platform will manage the end-to-end flexibility process for the new LCM, including operating a day-ahead market and facilitating the dispatch, settlement and payment for flexibility services.

LCM - a part of National Grid ESO’s 5-Point plan - is a key factor in managing transmission constraints and helping to tackle rising consumer and transmission network costs. Currently, the majority of constraint management actions are taken through the Balancing Mechanism (BM )of which some of the fastest  rising are located in Scotland.  The service is targeted specifically at the B6 boundary with the objective of reducing the annual constraint spend.

Johnston continued:

“National Grid ESO is a globally leading system operator, so it’s incredibly exciting to be working alongside them to tackle some of the biggest challenges and constraints facing the UK’s energy system. This is a game-changing moment for Piclo, with our independent marketplace solution now poised at the centre of enabling TSO and DSO flexibility needs to accelerate decarbonisation and bring down costs for consumers.”

Currently, the Anglo-Scottish B6 boundary has the highest constraint cost across the GB network, with costs expected to increase as a result of forecasted renewable generation growth in the area. The LCM will initially focus on helping manage this highly constrained area by introducing an independent marketplace, Piclo Flex, to widen access to new sources of flexibility. 

The LCM plans to ramp up early in 2023 on Piclo Flex and will be especially relevant for Flexibility Service Providers with assets located around the B4-B6 border, including smaller assets that fall below the usual 1MW minimum requirement threshold for BM participation. 

Interested parties are encouraged to register their interest on Piclo.Energy and subscribe to National Grid ESO's Future of Balancing Services newsletter for more information. Further information from the ESO is published here

Claire Dykta, Head of Markets at the ESO said:  

“As we continue to invest in line with our Markets Roadmap in the long-term management of network constraint costs and increased flexibility, services like Local Constraints Markets help us to unlock savings at pace. We were glad to see competitive bids from 3rd party platform providers to support the delivery of this initial Local Constraint Market. Piclo promises a fast-start solution and we look forward to this helping ESO target rising costs and unlock further provision of flexibility services from distributed assets.”

National Grid ESO joins a growing list of leading utilities adopting Piclo Flex as the independent marketplace for flexibility services, including the UK’s UK Power Networks, SP Energy Networks, Electricity North West, the United States’ National Grid, Portugal’s E-REDES and Lithuania’s Energijos Skirstymo Operatorius (ESO).

About National Grid ESO

The ESO is a legally separate business within the National Grid group – sits at the heart of the electricity system in Great Britain, keeping the lights on around the clock for energy consumers. We move electricity around the country’s high-voltage network to balance supply and demand in real-time, using a mix of power sources to make sure electricity is available wherever and whenever it’s needed.

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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