Independent aggregators get Wider Access to the Balancing Mechanism

Today, in conjunction with National Grid Electricity System Operator (NG ESO), ELEXON has successfully opened up the market entry process for independent aggregators to enter the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) as Virtual Lead Parties (VLPs). 

Opening up the Balancing Mechanism (BM) to VLPs provides the opportunity for radical changes to how electricity supply and demand can be met over the coming decades. It also helps to unlock initiatives that will deliver against the ‘net-zero’ emissions targets.

This means that both ELEXON and NG ESO have met their commitments to deliver Wider Access to the Balancing Mechanism (BM) on schedule as set out in BSC Modification P344.

Benefits that Virtual Lead Parties offer to the electricity system

VLPs have the ability to co-ordinate demand side response offers from consumers, and manage output from small-scale generators and electricity storage. Previously, aggregators had to be affiliated with a licenced supplier to participate in the BM. Allowing VLPs access to the BM is one of the most exciting developments taking place in the industry.

By opening up the market entry process ELEXON and NG ESO are helping to create a smarter and more flexible trading environment which enables VLPs to trade in the BSC from December 2019.

A more open Balancing Mechanism can play a big part in the energy transition

Mark Bygraves, Chief Executive of ELEXON, said:

“ELEXON is playing an important role in the energy industry transition, which will help to deliver the Government’s net-zero ambitions, and today we are delighted to have reached a significant milestone in that evolution. By delivering changes to enable VLPs to start operating in the Balancing Mechanism we are facilitating new ways to use and produce electricity.

“A more open and accessible Balancing Mechanism will be able to play a big part in the energy transition. It means, for example, that independent aggregators can help more consumers provide demand side response. Independent aggregators can also help to ensure that the benefits of increased diversity and decentralisation in electricity supply are maximised, both for businesses and consumers.”

ELEXON’s contribution to delivering Wider Access

ELEXON is widely recognised across the industry for consistently delivering a high standard of service provision. Implementing these changes builds on a legacy that ensures all new Parties can successfully share data through the new interfaces that will ensure continued Settlement accuracy in the BSC.

The new P344 systems have been implemented to allow independent participants to accede to the BSC as well as enabling existing participants to add aggregation services to their BSC trading. We expect VLPs to begin trading in the BM from Q1 2020. Three companies have already acceded to the BSC with the sole intention of becoming a VLP.

More information

Visit the Wider Access and TERRE Release Page for full technical details of the implementation of Wider Access.

Get all the information and latest updates about Wider Access and TERRE and find out more about how ELEXON has opened up the market entry process for independent aggregators to the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) as Virtual Lead Parties (VLPs) in the ‘What is Wider Access’ section.


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