Piclo gets an Energy boost

Flexibility procurement platform, Piclo Flex, has added SP Energy Networks and Northern Powergrid to its roster as DNOs explore ‘flexibility first’ model.

Originally known as Open Utility, Piclo now has five DNOs on its book, with SP Energy the most recent recruit, following Northern Powergrid throwing its hat into the flexibility ‘ring’ in early September.

The latest entrants join Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, UK Power Networks and Electricity North West, who are all part of the trial to gather more intelligence as the networks move towards a DSO model. 

For Jim Cardwell, Northern Powergrid’s Head of Policy Development, customer engagement is key:

“We hear from customers that, in order to grow local flexibility markets, we need to show the value available and make it easy to participate. Joining the Piclo Flex platform is one of the ways in which we are working towards these objectives.”

Meanwhile, for the organisation’s Commercial Development Manager, Andrew McKenna, it’s the combination of technical and consumer that appeals:

“Flexibility and its potential interaction with the distribution network is a fascinating topic from both an engineering and social perspective. It’s a great time to be working with our customers and re-tasking our increasingly smart assets as we step in to a future where customer flexibility assists the operation of the local grid.”

A complimentary approach

For SP Energy Networks, joining Piclo is perfect timing to combine the application with SP’s newly-commissioned “Fusion” Smart Energy Platform. The £6 million technology adds another piece to the puzzle of managing the increasingly unpredictable, two-way networks which, when combined with the Piclo trial, will provide further learning for all parties involved in electricity generation and supply.

According to SP’s Director of Network Planning and Regulation, Scott Mathieson:

“Flexibility is key to the management of the electricity network of the future and SP Energy Networks is leading the charge. Innovative solutions to help make this happen, like Piclo, are to be warmly welcomed and we look forward to taking part in the trial and learning lessons from it to ensure that the network we operate and the power we deliver makes the most effective use of existing electricity infrastructure and ensures we keep customers' bills down and their lights on."