27 Mar 2024

Net zero Utility National North West

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

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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, offering an end-to-end solution for FSPs to participate; from onboarding through to dispatch and settlement. 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 DNOs to leverage the 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, 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, added: “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.”

In response to this milestone achievement, 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. "

It 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.