Changes to Settlement metering for a more flexible system

Consulting has begun on proposals to change the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) so that individual asset meters located ‘behind the boundary point’ can be used for Settlement purposes.

These meters measure electricity flows to, or from, assets including embedded generators, demand-side response providers, or owners of electric vehicle charging points.

Currently, the BSC does not recognise asset meters. This is because only data on electricity flows from a meter at the boundary point can be used for electricity Settlement. The boundary point is the location at which complex, multi-use sites connect to a distribution network.

More data can be used for Settlement 

Modification P375 ‘Settlement of Secondary BM Units using metering at the asset’ would see data from asset meters fitted at units behind the boundary point being submitted into Settlement. P375 was raised by Flexitricity – a DSR provider and a new Virtual Lead Party (VLP).

We believe that P375 offers more opportunities for smaller asset owners to provide balancing services. The reforms would give Distribution System Operators (DSOs) more accurate control of their networks and enable them to dispatch assets with more efficiency and control.

Overall, this will contribute to the transition to a smarter system, recognised as being a major stepping stone to achieving net-zero.

‘A transformative effect on the energy system’

Mark Bygraves, Chief Executive, said: “There is limited visibility of the actions of smaller asset owners at multi-use sites. We believe that including data from individual asset meters in Settlement will fill that void, by providing granular information on their activity.

“The P375 proposals could have a transformative effect on the energy system. They offer market participants new ways to engage in the energy market. The changes could also assist developers of heat networks as part of a wider integrated energy system.

“If the proposals are approved by Ofgem they will ensure that the BSC is ahead of the game. We need the BSC to facilitate the changes that support innovation and initiatives to meet the net zero challenge.”

P375 ‘starts us on the road to net zero’

Alastair Martin, Flexitricity’s founder and Chief Strategy Officer, said: “Balancing Mechanism Wider Access using the VLP model unlocked the Balancing Mechanism for all energy users. But it’s asset metering that really pushes the door wide open.

“With P375, we can provide value for the asset that’s actually delivering the balancing service, while letting energy users get on with normal life. This applies all the way from industrial sites – like water treatment works and pumping stations – all the way to domestic consumers with EV chargers and smart heating controls.

“Open participation means better balancing, a more economic energy system and the best use being made of the greenest energy available. That’s why P375 starts us on the road to net zero.”

Responding to the proposals

You can find the  found in the ‘documents’ section of the P375 webpage.  If you have views please let us know by 14 September 2020.

The final recommendation to Ofgem on whether to approve the proposals is likely to be made at the BSC Panel’s December 2020 meeting.

If Ofgem approves the changes they are scheduled to come into force in the first quarter of 2022.

Code of Practice for asset meters

To support the proposals, a new metering Code of Practice (CoP11) to set standards for the accuracy of the asset meters has been developed that will be used. You can read more about this in the consultation.

Additional benefits of P375

P375 could allow asset owners at complex multi-use sites to participate in Project TERRE

Last December, alongside National Grid ESO, Elexon opened up the Balancing Mechanism so that independent aggregators can participate in it as Virtual Lead Parties (VLPs). P375 further assists VLPs, as it allows them to obtain accurate information about the activity of assets behind the boundary point.

This means VLPs can help these asset owners to provide services in the Balancing Mechanism through the ‘Wider Access’ reforms. It will also help them to take part in Project TERRE, when GB participation in it goes live.

Supporting provision of extra data on the energy system

Using data from individual asset meters also opens the door to provision of valuable data on flows of electricity to, and from, these units.

Elexon played an important role in the Energy Data Task Force and we see P375 as further assisting moves to provide more openly accessible electricity data.

The BSC Panel raised Modification P398 ‘Increasing access to BSC Data’ in December 2019. If approved this change will make all BSC data openly available unless the Panel decides otherwise. It would ensure access the valuable data through the P375 reforms is widely available.

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