Have your say – proposal to use the BSC Sandbox

You have the chance to take part in Elexon’s consultation on the first proposal to use the new Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) Sandbox. 

Allowing trials in a ‘live market’ environment

Elexon was the first energy code body to develop a ‘Sandbox’ where innovators can trial concepts in a live market environment, without having to meet all the usual BSC rules. The Sandbox service has been available since last July.

Emergent Energy’s proposal to use the Sandbox

Emergent Energy, a renewable energy supplier which specialises in residential private wire networks, or microgrids, for the social housing sector, proposes to employ proprietary technology to perform an ‘on-site aggregation’ calculation on private wire networks.

Private wire networks are generally developed to serve clusters of consumers such as businesses on an industrial park, or blocks of flats. Many consumers on these networks are supplied by a single Supply company. However some consumers on private networks are served by a Third Party Supplier.

Consumption on private wire networks is metered at the boundary point (where the private network connects to a distribution network). Consumption by consumers with a Third Party Supplier contributes to the aggregate boundary meter reading. However, some double counting can result if the same volumes are reported into Settlement by the Third Party Suppliers. This results in minor deviations to Grid Supply Point (GSP) Group Correction Factors (GCF) and therefore has a small impact on all Parties. This is in addition to the boundary point Supplier paying for energy their customers didn’t use.

The existing BSC solution to correct this is to subtract data from the meters of consumers with Third Party Suppliers which accounts for the difference, but this can be time consuming and expensive to set up. Alternatively, all consumers on private wire networks must install a Settlement meter, which may reduce some benefits of having on-site generation.

Reducing costs

Emergent Energy plans to trial new processes to aggregate consumption for consumers’ meters, correcting flows submitted for the boundary point.

Reg Platt Founder CEO at Emergent Energy said:

Private wire networks installed within housing developments can improve the returns achieved from investments in solar PV and heat pump technologies, reducing the cost of delivering net zero while reducing bills for customers. This Sandbox application will expand the opportunity for private wire networks beyond new build housing into the retrofit market where the UK desperately needs cheaper low carbon solutions.

“Trialing new concepts and ideas”

Elexon Chief Executive Mark Bygraves said:

We are very pleased to be offering our BSC Sandbox service as a safe space for companies and innovators to trial new concepts and ideas. Emergent Energy’s proposal is an opportunity to demonstrate how another process could address this known issue and so maintain the high accuracy of Settlement, which is important for all Parties and consumers overall.

Emergent Energy is one of a number of companies that have come forward with a proposal to use the Sandbox and we look forward to working with all of them to progress their plans.

Elexon’s view and what happens next

Elexon is consulting on Emergent Energy’s proposal. We do not believe there will be any negative impact on BSC Parties as a whole as it will not affect their Settlement volumes. 

The independent BSC Panel will then review the proposal and any industry feedback before making a recommendation to Ofgem. Ofgem makes the final decision on whether Sandbox trials can go ahead.

Download the consultation

You have until Friday 26 February 2021 to respond.

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