Approval of Modification P398 increases access to BSC data

Ofgem has approved Modification P398 ‘Increasing access to BSC Data’ for implementation on 24 June 2021. P398 will amend the BSC so that all data is assumed open unless there is a reason otherwise and will not directly impact any market participants. BSC Parties and non-BSC Parties will be able to apply for data under a new process introduced by this Modification. This Modification will better align the BSC with moves towards a smarter energy system.

Background to Modification P398

In June 2019 the Energy Data Task Force, which Elexon was part of, published its report ‘A Strategy for a Modern Digitalised Energy System’. One of its recommendations was that the energy sector should ‘adopt the principle that energy system data should be presumed open’. The report recommends that BEIS and/or Ofgem should use legislative and regulatory powers to achieve this recommendation.

Currently, the BSC does not fully adhere to ‘presumed open’ principles; however, once P398 is implemented in June 2021 the BSC will be fully compliant.

P398 was proposed by the BSC Panel and Elexon further developed the proposal with the industry. Access to open data assists progress to net zero by supporting innovators in developing new products and services.

Classification of data

P398 will amend the BSC so that all data is assumed open unless there is a reason otherwise. The Panel (or delegated Sub-Committee) will determine if there is any reason not to make data available. This will be done based on a transparent process of triage and categorisation. There will not be a fee for serving data requests associated with the service unless this is requested by the BSC Panel.

To facilitate this change the Modification proposes a triage process for data requests whereby they can be checked against the following criteria: consumer privacy, negative consumer impact, security or commercial impact.

Once triage has taken place, the data requested will be classified into one of the following categories:

  • Open – Available for all to use, modify and distribute with no restrictions;
  • Public – Publicly available but with some restrictions on usage;
  • Shared – Available to a limited group possibly with some restrictions on usage; or
  • Closed – Only available within a single organisation

Releasing data

Before deciding whether requested data should be released, we will issue a consultation to industry for a maximum of 15 working days. The consultation will follow a standard format and shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Initial triage and classification – Elexon initial assessment of the requested data set
  • Proposed mitigation – how Elexon proposes to mitigate the data to make it more open (if applicable) and what the subsequent triage and classification shall be
  • Benefits – what will be the benefits to BSC Parties, wider industry, and/or requester should the requested data be released
  • Impacts – what will be the impacts to BSC Parties, wider industry, and/or requester should the requested data be released
  • Duplication – whether Elexon is aware of similar data sets produced by themselves or other organisations
  • Coupling – whether the data set could be coupled with other data sets (published by Elexon or others) for commercial, nefarious or other purposes
  • Risk – what (if any) will be the risk to Settlement, Elexon and Industry members as applicable
  • Periodicity – whether the data set is proposed to be re-published at given intervals, or as a one-off
  • Review period – how often the BCB should review whether the data set remains extant or whether it will be published in perpetuity to be reviewed by exception
  • Additional information – anything else that the Elexon feels pertinent to allow respondents to make an informed decision
  • Recommendation – Elexon’s initial recommendation to BMRS Change Board

If an organisation does not respond to the consultation within 15 days, their lack of response will be taken as their agreement to release the data. We also plan to introduce an appeals process after a decision has been made about data disclosure following the triage process. Appeals can be made to Elexon by any BSC or non-BSC Parties.  

A periodic review of the arrangements to release data will be conducted at least once every 24 months. Classifications and mitigations of data will also be reviewed at the BMRS (Balancing Mechanism Reporting Service) Change Board or at the BSC Panel’s discretion.

Other June 2021 implementations

As part of the June 2021 release, CP1530 will also be implemented. CP1530 will create a valid list of transformer ratios and introduce a process, documented in Balancing and Settlement Code Procedure (BSCP) 515 ‘Licensed Distribution’, where LDSOs submit transformer ratios to Elexon. On receipt, Elexon will check that the submitted ratios meet the valid format and establish a list of valid transformer ratios, to be used by LDSOs, on the Elexon Portal.

Further information about the June 2021 can be accessed on the webpage.

Accessing BSC data

The Balancing Mechanism Reporting Service (BMRS) is the primary channel for providing operational data relating to the GB Electricity Balancing and Settlement arrangements. It is used extensively by market participants to help make trading decisions and understanding market dynamics and acts as a prompt reporting platform as well as a means of accessing historic data.


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