Electron led consortium announce BEIS award to develop a new exchange for flexibility

Posted: 26 Feb 2020

London-based energy technology company, Electron, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded funding by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to lead a consortium, including Kaluza, to develop a multi-product flexibility exchange as part of its FleX competition.

26 February 2020

The consortium, named TraDER, brings together Electron, Kaluza, Community Energy Scotland, CGI, EDF in the UK, Elexon, Energy Systems Catapult and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, alongside other key players in the emerging flexibility arena including Downing LLP and United Utilities. The project aims to deliver a single access point to multiple energy services such as balancing, stability and network capacity, making it quicker and simpler for assets to provide these services. The market will go live first on the Orkney islands, where renewable energy generation often exceeds grid capacity, creating a huge opportunity for flexibility.

“We want to make it easier for distributed energy resources to play their full role in lowering the cost and carbon intensity of managing the grid” says Joanna Hubbard, Electron’s CEO and Co-Founder. “This starts with delivering the world’s first marketplace for network capacity: a market in which renewable generators can pay flexible assets to make space for them on an increasingly congested grid. This means we can bring more low cost, low carbon generation into the system and create new revenue opportunities for clean technology operators.

Hubbard continues “Longer term, TraDER also presents us with an opportunity to bring together previous work on aligning and simplifying asset registration processes and coordinating flexibility markets through price signals. We believe that these are the key enablers for transparent, liquid markets that will support the transition to net zero.”

The Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, adds “If we are to end our contribution to climate change by 2050, it is vital that we explore innovative methods to integrate low carbon sources into our energy system. Building an online marketplace where households and businesses can trade flexibility will make our system more efficient and reduce energy bills.”

TraDER will also draw on Kaluza’s market expertise in residential flexibility and their intelligent energy platform, as well as the substantial trading experience and consumer engagement initiatives of Kaluza and EDF.

“To build the smart zero carbon grid of the future we need a trading platform that creates opportunities and unlocks the true potential of flexible technologies” says Conor Maher-McWilliams, Head of Flexibility at Kaluza. “Today’s infrastructure fails to grasp the full value at its fingertips. Through an intelligent energy platform, connected devices in the home are already providing flexibility to the grid and saving customers money off their energy bills. However, this new flexibility will be able to go so much further if traded within a co-ordinated, agile system that responds in real time to the grid’s needs. We are excited to be working with Electron to demonstrate the rewards of this innovative trading model.”

EDF’s Head of Energy Trading Services, Chris Regan, said: “Renewable energy is an increasing part of the UK’s energy mix. Greater flexibility and control of our energy are essential to successfully integrate these sources into an energy market fit for the future as we work towards net zero by 2050. This project is at the forefront of developing local markets to secure balance and stability while offering new revenue streams for customers, and we’re excited to share the knowledge we’ve gained from our Powershift flexibility platform to further this.”

“We are delighted to be closely involved with the development of a product that could enable a well-functioning energy market in the future” said Paul Buxton, CGI’s Vice President for Energy, Utilities and the North. “We look forward to facilitating stakeholder workshops aimed at drawing out key themes and establishing design for trials.”

ELEXON Chief Executive, Mark Bygraves, said: “We are pleased to support the development of electricity flexibility exchanges as they could play an important role in helping businesses and other flexibility options, such as storage providers, to trade electricity locally. TraDER is a crucial step in unlocking the full value of flexibility by integrating assets into a smart, efficient and flexible energy system. The wealth of experience brought by all of the project partners, combined with the innovative approach to trading, makes this initiative an exciting development in delivering a whole system approach to trading.”

Community Energy Scotland Head of Innovation, Mark Hull, said “This is a great step both toward addressing real challenges for the communities of Orkney and adding ways to create mutual opportunity for the wider sector. Building on concerted efforts nationally and internationally to ensure that communities and local actors can have a role and benefit from the current energy revolution, local accessible trading platforms such as TraDER show a real way to bring grid, locality and the value of individual and community assets together in a way that we all can benefit.”

George Day, Head of Markets, Policy and Regulation, said: “We are thrilled to have been selected to work with these exciting projects on the policy and regulatory implications of new flexibility trading concepts.  We believe projects like TraDER can help to unleash the true value of energy flexibility, as we move towards cleaner energy for both consumers and businesses. We look forward to working with the consortium and drawing out what policymakers can learn from its work.”

Andrew Roper, Distribution Systems Operations Director at SSEN, said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners to deliver the modern electricity grid of the future. SSEN is committed to being a neutral facilitator of the markets that are created in the transition to a smarter, flexible network. Therefore we are thrilled to participate in TraDER, unlocking new opportunities for renewables to participate in supporting energy security, and the UK’s ambitions for a net zero economy.”


Project Partners

About Kaluza

Kaluza is an intelligent energy platform able to connect and control millions of smart devices across people’s homes, such as electric vehicles, heaters and batteries. The machine learning platform introduces new flexibility into the energy system by optimising individual devices to use energy during off-peak hours, when costs and carbon are lower. An OVO Group company, Kaluza operates end-to-end, providing software, hardware and in-home installation services to a range of partners and is driving the global transition to a distributed and secure, zero-carbon grid.

About Electron

Electron is a London-based energy technology company engaged in designing & building the digital infrastructure that will enable the transition to cheaper, cleaner power. They are developing near real-time marketplaces for curtailment and location based flexibility, alongside the underlying asset register that allows these markets to coexist and remain coordinated.

The Electron platform enables:

  • Network & system operators: to manage the intermittency, congestion & power quality challenges presented by increasing renewable penetration;
  • Asset owners, operators & traders: to access better price signals, additional revenue streams and opportunities to ‘stack’ those revenue streams;
  • Retailers and aggregators: to develop differentiated service models for their customers and hedge risks with better granularity;
  • Consumers to benefit from the lower system costs and carbon emissions that result from making better use of existing energy and network assets.

Founded in 2015, Electron is internationally recognised as a leader in its field, having been named a 2017 World Economic Forum “Technology Pioneer”, and recently a “Cleantech 100” company. Electron currently operates in three countries, working alongside utilities, regulators and other technology providers to bring flexibility and coordination to energy grids.

For more information on Electron please visit www.electron.org.uk

About BEIS

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is a ministerial department bringing together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, growth and climate change. This funding forms part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s £505 million Energy Innovation Programme, which is dedicated to harnessing and rolling out cutting edge technology to fight climate change.  Further details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/funding-for-innovative-smart-energy-systems

About Community Energy Scotland (CES)

Community Energy Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity (Charity No: SC039673) and a member based social enterprise with over 400 non-profit distributing community group members in Scotland. Our core aim is to strengthen and empower local communities by helping them to own, control and benefit from their local renewable energy resources, control and reduce their energy costs, regenerate their communities and play their part in the low carbon transition.

Community Energy Scotland believes that communities can become stronger, more self-reliant, and resilient, by generating their own energy and managing and using it efficiently. We provide support, education, finance and practical help to build social inclusion, and we are a voice for communities who want to act now for a more secure and sustainable energy future. CES’ work over the last 10 years has supported over 1000 communities and resulted in over 500 projects enabling community buildings and spaces, both small and commercial community owned generation assets and other new ground-breaking local energy system activities across Scotland, Europe and the wider world (esp. Sub-Saharan Africa).

About CGI

Founded in 1976, CGI is among the largest independent IT and business consulting services firms in the world. With approximately 77,500 consultants and professionals across the globe, CGI delivers an end-to-end portfolio of capabilities, from strategic IT and business consulting to systems integration, managed IT and business process services and intellectual property solutions. CGI works with clients through a local relationship model complemented by a global delivery network that helps clients digitally transform their organizations and accelerate results. With Fiscal 2018 reported revenue of C$11.5 billion, CGI shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB). Learn more at cgi.com

About EDF

EDF in the UK is leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future, tackling climate change and helping Britain reach net zero. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers with electricity and gas.

It generates low carbon electricity from eight nuclear power stations, more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms, and operates one of Britain’s biggest battery storage units, one gas and one coal power station, EV charge-points, and combined heat and power plants.

EDF is leading the UK’s nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and plans for new power stations at Sizewell C in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex. Hinkley Point C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK demand. The project is already making a positive impact on the local and national economy as well as boosting skills and education.

EDF also invests in a range of low carbon technologies including renewables, solar and battery storage. The company’s largest offshore wind farm is currently being built in Scotland and the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project will be ready in 2023. It is applying research and development expertise to improve the performance of existing generation and developing the potential of new technologies.

EDF is helping its customers, both in business and at home, to join generation electric and take their first steps to sustainably powering their lives. Whether it is buying an electric car, generating and storing electricity or selling energy back to the grid – everyone is welcome. EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British business and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. In addition, the company’s energy services business, Imtech, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.

EDF in the UK is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 13,000 people at locations across England and Scotland. 

About Elexon

ELEXON manages the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC), which makes sure that payments for imbalances in wholesale electricity supply and demand are settled accurately. Find out more at www.elexon.co.uk 

About Energy Systems Catapult

Energy Systems Catapult was set up to accelerate the transformation of the UK’s energy system and ensure UK businesses and consumers capture the opportunities of clean growth.

The Catapult is an independent, not-for-profit centre of excellence that bridges the gap between industry, government, academia and research. We take a whole-systems view of the energy sector, helping us to identify and address innovation priorities and market barriers, in order to decarbonise the energy system at the lowest cost.

We have more than 170 staff based in Birmingham and Derby with a variety of technical, commercial and policy backgrounds. We work with innovators from companies of all sizes to develop, test and scale their ideas. We also collaborate with industry, academia and Government to overcome the systemic barriers of the current energy market to help unleash the potential of new products, services and value chains required to achieve the UK’s clean growth ambitions as set out in the Industrial Strategy. Find out more at https://es.catapult.org.uk/

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