Piclo, a UK-based independent marketplace for grid flexibility services, has completed the first end-to-end flexibility transactions for the UK electricity system operator’s (ESO) new Local Constraint Market (LCM) in Scotland. Across ten different days since the end of May, a total of three megawatt-hours (MWh) of flexibility was contracted and dispatched from Orange Power and CUB UK.
Instead of curtailing low-carbon wind power, Scottish households were incentivised to ‘turn-up’ their low-carbon assets, such as charging their electric vehicles (EVs) or increasing electric heating or cooling in their homes and industrial sites during specified times. It is the first time a national electricity network control room has used a cloud-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform to procure and dispatch flexibility services.
Between 2021 and 2023, £1.5bn ($1.91bn) was used to curtail more 6.5 terawatt-hours of wind power, resulting in 2.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions. In May, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf called on UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to increase energy storage infrastructure in the UK to rein in high curtailment pay-outs to wind farms.
Piclo’s flexibility services will help manage peak wind energy flows on Scotland’s grid and create a local marketplace that diverts extra wind power into local assets at times when southward flows are at capacity – benefitting people charging EVs, businesses with battery storage and Scotland’s pumped hydro energy storage stations.
“This is a momentous milestone for Piclo and the ESO,” said James Johnston, CEO at Piclo. “It is the first time the ESO’s control room has used a cloud-based platform as part of their trading operations. This marks a turning point in the energy transition, where the introduction of a digital marketplace not only democratises access to flexibility markets by reducing barriers for participation but also facilitates a more efficient and streamlined operation of the electricity network. We start today with 3MWh and our ambition is to grow to 30GWh. This has been a massive boost to our mission to decarbonise the world’s grids.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated after publication to correct the units provided by Piclo in the comments from CEO James Johnston.
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