October 4, 2023 10:00 AM

SP Energy Networks works with Piclo to improve end-to-end flexibility services and unlock decarbonisation

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  • SP Energy Networks has signed a two-year contract with Piclo to procure flexibility services using its independent marketplace, allowing Flexibility Providers to help manage the network. 
  • It will be the first UK DSO to sign up to the new end-to-end service – making it easier for Flexibility Providers to take part in Flexibility Services by offering a single platform solution.  

SP Energy Networks has signed a two-year partnership with Piclo, the leading independent marketplace for flexibility services. Flexibility services allow connected customers to support the management of the electricity grid and receive payment for doing so. The two-year contract will allow SP Energy Networks to simplify the procurement journey for Flexibility Service Providers (FSPs), by removing the need to onboard them through multiple different platforms. 

A strong message from potential providers is that reduced complexity and standardisation would help them to participate. Piclo’s new end-to-end service will support these objectives allowing more potential FSPs to participate, ultimately supporting the transition to Net Zero at the lowest overall cost for UK customers. 

As the first UK DSO to sign up to the expanded end-to-end services on Piclo, the expanded marketplace will enable SP Energy Networks to dispatch and settle flexibility services, in addition to using the platform to advertise and procure assets to meet its network needs. This simplifies the process for FSPs when it comes to providing services to SP Energy Networks, enabling the organisation to achieve flexibility at scale.

SP Energy Networks will also be the first to operate low voltage flexibility services via Piclo across 122 locations from November this year, which will allow domestic customers to reduce their demand during peak times while facilitating short term markets to drive market liquidity. 

Gerard Boyd, Head of Flexibility at SP Energy Networks, said: 

“Harnessing distributed network Flexibility will be instrumental in facilitating the transition to Net Zero, at the lowest overall cost to UK customers. To increase the participation of Flexibility Service Providers (FSPs), we need to listen to and address the challenges that they are facing. One common theme is that it is too complex to take part. The latest developments with Piclo are  a game-changer for us, and hopefully our FSPs.  By having all of our flexibility services procured, dispatched and settled on a single platform, we can operate in a more agile way, whilst simplifying the way customers engage with our flexibility needs.

SP Energy Network’s recent contract agreement with Piclo will facilitate our first end-to-end procurement and operation of flexibility, with competitions currently live on the Piclo Flex platform. We are currently seeking over 1.5 GW of capacity across more than 1700 locations between April 2023 and March 2028.”

James Johnston, CEO at Piclo, said

“We're thrilled to announce that SP Energy Networks is the first UK DSO to sign up for our end-to-end platform offering, resulting in a radically simpler and improved experience for FSPs. Our goal has always been to increase transparency and lower transaction costs for local flexibility markets. FSPs participating in SPEN competitions can not only bid, operate, and settle via a single platform but also utilise our state-of-the-art APIs to automate their end-to-end workflows. This represents a significant victory for local flexibility markets, which are crucial for facilitating a timely and affordable energy transition.”

About SP Energy Networks

SP Energy Networks own and operate the electricity distribution network in Central and Southern Scotland (SP Distribution network), and in North and Mid Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Shropshire (SP Manweb network). It is through these two networks of underground cables, overhead lines and substations that we provide 3.5 million homes, businesses and public services with a safe, economical and reliable supply of electricity. As part of our RIIO-ED2 DSO Strategy, we will depend on new tools and capabilities developed, including greater flexibility utilisation from evolving flexibility markets and growing market participation.

About Piclo 

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 60,000 registered flexible assets representing 19GW of registered flex capacity, with flexibility contracts awarded totalling £74m and 2.6GW+ of flexible capacity procured.

Piclo Flex currently operates in six global markets: in the UK, supporting four Distribution System Operators (UK Power Networks, SP Energy Networks, Electricity North West and Northern Powergrid); and the Transmission System Operator (TSO) (the ESO); in Ireland (ESB Networks), Italy (E-Distribuzione), Portugal (E-REDES), Lithuania (Energijos Skirstymo Operatorius AB (ESO)), and in the United States in New York State (National Grid). Aside from its leading position in the UK, Piclo has a growing presence in Europe and the USA.

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Register to Piclo Flex here: