Virtual Lead Party role within the electricity market
The BSC enables companies to enter the electricity market as a distinct category of BSC Party called a Virtual Lead Party (VLP).
On this page
What are Virtual Lead Parties?
These companies can facilitate the participation of Independent Aggregators in the Balancing markets. Ofgem defines independent aggregators as parties who bundle changes in consumer’s loads or distributed generation output for sale in organised markets and who do not simultaneously supply the customer with energy.
VLPs will not be subject to the same level of charges and obligations as existing BSC Parties. If they wish to participate in other aspects of the BSC (e.g. trading in wholesale markets) they will have to Qualify under an existing capacity and would therefore be liable for all BSC obligations and charges.
Process for entering the market
You will need to go through various steps in order to register as a VLP. We have a dedicated web page and diagram that outlines all the tasks required.
VLPS will need to submit BSCP65 ‘Registration of Parties and Exit Procedures’ form BSCP65/01 ‘Party Registration Application / Change of Registration Details Form’ at least three Working Days prior to the Party registration date.
Alternatively, if progressing through Market Entry via the Elexon Kinnect Customer Solution, your chosen Market Role and target Effective From date can be entered into the system once your Authorised Signatories are set up.
Please be aware that the chosen Effective From date should align with when you intend to complete the Market Entry process, though this can be changed at a later date.
Some FAQs about registering as a VLP
Recent Modifications, Change Proposals and Issues
- P428: Correction to P376 Legal Text
- P424: Re-insert correct definition of Settlement Error
- P421: Align the BSC with Grid Code modification GC0144 for TERRE Market suspension
- P415: Facilitating access to wholesale markets for flexibility dispatched by Virtual Lead Parties
- P410: Changing imbalance price calculations to comply with the Imbalance Settlement Harmonisation regulations
- P376: Utilising a baselining methodology as an alternative to Physical Notifications
- P375: Settlement of Secondary BM Units using metering behind the site Boundary Point
- P399: Making the identity of Balancing Service providers visible in the Balancing Services Adjustment Data
Virtual Lead Parties (VLPs) will be Performance Assurance Parties (PAPs) and will therefore be subject to the Performance Assurance Framework (PAF).
Part of Elexon’s role as administrator of the BSC is to monitor the compliance of all BSC parties and to run Performance Assurance activities. There are a number of techniques that Elexon uses to confirm compliance or identify issues that may need to be addressed
Secondary BM units
Once qualified a VLP will be able to register Secondary BM Units, a new type of BM Unit.
Secondary BM Units will allow the association of MSID Pairs that a VLP wishes to aggregate for the purposes of participating in TERRE and / or the BM.
Secondary BM Units have the following conditions:
- the Secondary BM Unit does not comprise of CVA Metering System(s)
- the Secondary BM Unit may only comprise of half hourly SVA Metering System(s)
- the Secondary BM Unit does not comprise of SVA Metering Systems that are in more than one GSP Group
- the MSID Pairs within the Secondary BM Unit must have an import and may have an export.
Some FAQs about BMUs
Trading Charge payments are made to or by Parties 29 days after a Settlement Day. Credit Cover ensures ELEXON has enough collateral from BSC Parties to cover these payments if they cannot be made. VLPs, like other Parties, will be required to lodge Credit Cover for Trading Charges.
Before completing Market Entry, VLPs, like all new parties, will be required to provide ELEXON with two out-of-hours contacts in case an urgent issue arises e.g. Credit cover breaches etc.
Some FAQs about Credit Cover
Each point of entry and exit onto a Distribution System Operator’s Distribution System has an
associated Metering Point and each Metering Point has an associated Administration Number (MPAN)
and Metering System Identifier (MSID).
A Metering System identified by an MSID is the same entity as the Metering Point identified by an MPAN Core. The two terms are interchangeable.
Composition of MPANs:
- Profile Type – Indicates which Profile Class the Metering Point is associated with
(Non Half Hourly customers only, the Half Hourly profile class is represented as 00).
- Meter Timeswitch Code (MTC) – Indicates the capability of the meter and the time pattern applied for a multi-rate tariff supply and other technical information (e.g. economy 7, number of registers).
- Line Loss Factor Class (LLFC) – Identifies the Distribution Use of System (DUoS) Tariff and Line Loss Factor Class for the Metering Point, and hence what level of DUoS charges are payable and what electrical losses have to be accounted for in transporting the supply to the customer.
- Distribution Identifier – Identifies which Distribution System Operator’s Distribution System the Metering Point is connected to.
- Unique Reference Number – A unique number (within the Distribution System) to identify the specific Metering Point.
- Check Digit – A number calculated from the Distribution Identifier and Unique Reference Number to provide a check digit that other systems can use to validate the above identifier and reference numbers.
The combination of items 4, 5 and 6 make up a 13-digit identifier referred to as the MPAN Core; this is used throughout systems and processes as the reference or key to a particular Metering Point.
The Metering System Identifier (MSID) is the same as the SVA Metering System Number in the BSC.
The BSC defines an SVA Metering System Number as a two digit number to identify the Distribution System, a ten digit Unique Reference Number provided by the Distributor and a check digit. This is therefore the same composition as the MPAN Core.
Some FAQs about MSIDs
BSC Parties or Party Agents undergo a Qualification process to demonstrate the necessary systems and processes in place to fulfil its obligations and to mitigate the risks of failure.
The Self Assessment Document (SAD)’ contains the requirements for both Qualification and re-Qualification. Applicants are required to complete the SAD in accordance with BSCP537 ‘Qualification process for SVA Parties, SVA Party Agents and CVA MOAs’.
The SAD includes a section (section 19) for VLPs to communicate how they will identify and mitigate risks to Settlement. The identified risk areas that have been included are:
- Submission of MSID Pairs; MSID Pair submission exception handling (processing/resolution)
- Registration loss process (VLP & Supplier)
- Submissions of Delivered Volume Failure and delay resolution
- Delivered Volumes exception handling (processing / resolution)
In order to qualify as a VLP you will need to obtain CVA and SVA qualifications.
About CVA Qualification
VLPs, like all other BSC Parties, will be asked to demonstrate their ability to communicate with BSC Central Systems and comply with the requirements in BSC Section O ‘Communications under the Code’ by completing CVA Qualification Testing as part of the market entry process.
About SVA Qualification
During the development of the P344 solution it was determined that an appropriate Performance Assurance Framework (PAF) should be implemented in order to provide assurance to the wider market that BSC provisions are followed similar to how assurance is provided now. For this reason, VLPs will undergo SVA Qualification.
Some FAQs about Qualifications
As a Virtual Lead Party you do not have a Market Participant Identifier (MPID). Instead, you only have a Party ID.
Delivered volumes (P Flows)
VLPs will be required to submit HH Delivered Volume data per MSID Pair per Settlement Period where a Balancing Service has been delivered to the SVAA.
The SVAA will use the Delivered Volume data and the Metered Volume data received from the HHDA to allocate the Delivered Volume to the individual MSIDs within an MSID Pair.
Some FAQs about Delivered Volumes
As part of BSCP15/4.14 form you need to enter Production/Consumption Flag. Our Guidance Note states ‘Enter a Production/Consumption (P/C) Flag of either P or C.
If you are not sure, please enter a C and then contact our BM Unit team ([email protected]) for further advice.
Company details and addresses
You can find company names and addresses on the BSC Signatories web page.
However, if you would like to amend this type of information you are able to do this through the Kinnect Customer Solution.