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Pixie Chart of the Week

2019

Piclo publishes DNO flexibility findings

Emily Lewis Analyst

Software company Piclo released two white papers in September sharing findings from the pilot phase of its Piclo Flex Marketplace trial. The papers, supported by BEIS, explore the future of distributed flexibility procurement as researched through Piclo’s trials with all six of GB’s Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). This week’s Chart of the Week is from the paper Energy on Trial and demonstrates the proportions of flexibility requirement identified in the Piclo Flex trial. The highest need for flexibility, identified by DNOs, was deferral of network reinforcement at 45.2%. Historically, when DNOs expected network usage in an area to exceed operational limits, network upgrades would have been carried out, potentially at high cost. Flexiblity for reinforcement deferral allows DNOs to contract with Distributed Energy Resources to alter their network use to ensure the existing network remains within limits. Deferral of reinforcement is especially important where increasing demand is unpredictable as it can be used temporarily until demand forecasts are more certain and therefore reduce the risk of stranded assets. The second largest flexibility need is dealing with unplanned interruptions. This combines pre-fault and post-fault interruptions, totalling 26% of flexibility needs. Pre-fault flexibility can add resilience to the network when it is operating close to technical limits, leading to fewer faults and therefore fewer and shorter customer supply interruptions. Multiple flexibility measures could be useful to prevent faults, such as energy storage and load reduction. Planned maintenance made up a smaller proportion (13.7%) of flexibility needs. The use of ...

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