BSC Insight: ‘Event-driven’ architecture can help to release the value of energy data
This BSC Insight article, written by Peter Stanley, Director Digital Operations at Elexon, explains why Elexon would be best placed to operate ‘Event-driven’ IT architecture (EDA) to support Market-wide Half Hourly Settlement which is due to be implemented in GB in October 2025.
Delivering data to the electricity market
In January the Energy Digitalisation Taskforce published recommendations on what needs to be done across the sector so that millions of assets, from electric vehicles to industrial scale demand-side response (DSR) units, can all ‘talk to each’ other digitally.
An important part of this digital future will be the ability for suppliers and settlement to use the more accurate electricity consumption data from smart meters once Market-wide Half Hourly Settlement (MHHS) is implemented.
Using this data will encourage development of new products and services.
- Delivering a Digitalised Energy System – Energy Digitalisation Taskforce report – published January 2022
EDA and why it is needed for MHHS
During the next few months the Market-wide Half Hourly Settlement Implementation Manager will appoint a service provider to develop an ‘event-driven’ IT architecture (EDA), which will provide the new data integration platform so that electricity suppliers can submit half hourly readings to Elexon for settlement.
EDA is already used in different economic sectors. For example, Tesla uses it to capture trillions of ‘data events’ across its business every day. For the energy sector, EDA will allow suppliers to receive and share far more meter readings than they do at present.
It will ensure that suppliers’ settlement charges will be costed according to the price of electricity at different times of the day, and how much their customers used during those periods.
The EDA will need to be developed, tested and ready to use for when MHHS is implemented in October 2025.
Ofgem is consulting on whether Elexon or the Retail Energy Code Company should be appointed to operate and govern EDA, once it has been developed.
About Market-wide Half Hourly Settlement
Natural synergy between EDA and Elexon’s systems
There is a natural synergy between EDA and Elexon’s settlement systems, which we have re-architected in preparation for managing an expected 90-fold increase in the amount of half hourly data that we will process.
Half hourly meter data is an intrinsic part of settlement and whichever organisation operates EDA, data from suppliers will need to be integrated with Kinnect (Elexon’s new digital platform), so that we can calculate settlement payments.
We therefore firmly believe that the most logical choice for the operation and governance of the EDA is the Balancing and Settlement Code.
In addition we also believe that Elexon is best placed to operate EDA.
We have a track record at the heart of the electricity system, where we have been successfully managing settlement for over 20 years and evolving to meet the needs of our customers and the market.
Elexon Kinnect our digital platform
Elexon’s unique insight into EDA
Elexon led industry work to consider how EDA could be used to support MHHS and therefore we have a unique insight and understanding of what industry is looking for from the EDA service.
The benefit of EDA data will not just be confined to settlement. EDA can play a big part in the digitalisation and transformation of the energy sector.
We will use the readings we receive from suppliers through EDA to calculate more accurate ‘load shapes’ to determine a supplier’s imbalance positions.
Suppliers can also use this data to help consumers and ‘prosumers’ to play an active role in providing DSR through aggregated balancing products.
Data from EDA will also help further development of new business models, including peer-to-peer trading and aggregation of electric ‘vehicle to grid’ top up services.
We believe that wholesale market data needs to be widely and easily available to support innovation. This includes the aggregated data available through the EDA.
Our experience in developing cloud solutions using EDA
Since June 2021, all of our data has been openly available for no extra charge, in accordance with the recommendations of the Energy Data Taskforce.
- Energy Data Taskforce: A Strategy for a Modern Digitalised Energy System – published in 2019
The EDA for MHHS will be created in the cloud, and we already have experience of developing our cloud native platform (Elexon Kinnect) using Azure microservices (a form of EDA ).
Kinnect is flexible and scalable ensuring that all of our services, including settlement calculation, market entry support and comprehensive data and insight services will be delivered using cloud technology.
Elexon is therefore ideally placed to apply what we have learned from developing and operating Kinnect to the operation of EDA for MHHS.
We can deliver the benefits of EDA to all market participants
Across all economies, data is becoming ever more important. In the energy sector, access to high quality, well-governed data will be critical to network operators, generators, suppliers and end-consumers.
Data is essential as the UK seeks to optimise energy production, maintain security of supply and deliver on the commitment to meet net zero.
EDA will play a critical role because the data it provides will be essential to unlocking the innovation and change needed to transform the system.
If Ofgem decides in March that Elexon should operate EDA, then we are ready to use all of our assets – people, systems and processes (in which the industry and consumers have invested) – to deliver benefits to all industry participants, stakeholders and consumers equally.