Project: FUSION Scotland

Project: FUSION Scotland

SP Energy Networks is part of the ScottishPower Group of companies. They provide power on behalf of supply companies through a network of cables and power lines which they own and maintain.

SP Energy Networks in the UK is leading the project FUSION, which was awarded 5-year funding in 2017. In this interview, USEF spoke with Colin Taylor to evaluate the feasibility, costs and benefits of implementing a common flexibility market framework based on USEF. 

Coin is Engineering Services Director, with overall responsibility for network innovation. Alex is the project manager for FUSION, a flagship project to develop and trial a live, actively-managed DSO system which aims to create and utilize a commoditized competitive market for flexibility and, ultimately, benefit all system stakeholders.

Regulatory support

To manage the shift to a cleaner, more sustainable and affordable future, the electricity network is already evolving in the UK. Companies like SP Energy do have great regulatory support to help achieve that. For example, FUSION is being funded for five years by UK regulator, Ofgem, as a winner of its 2017 annual electricity network innovation competition.

About FUSION

‘FUSION aims to evaluate the feasibility, costs and benefits of implementing a common flexibility market framework.

Taylor: “We will use USEF as a template, a mature starting point, which we will tailor to meet specific British structural and regulatory requirements, while retaining the standardisation it offers to ensure broader industry alignment – the key to any future smart energy system.”

Flex

FUSION will commoditize flexibility to manage local distribution network constraints and support wider national network balancing requirements within the existing regulatory framework. It will include a live trial which will take place in East Fife, Scotland.

The trial will help to understand the potential use and value of flexibility to further enhance efficient DSO network management. It will help both to demonstrate proof of concept and evidence the business case for commoditized flexibility, both locally and more widely in the UK.

‘We have already undertaken a preliminary assessment of flexibility available in East Fife; this will be developed further and quantified in relation to four key network challenges which, in turn, will help us to develop flexibility product definitions. At the same time, the preliminary assessment of USEF’s fit to the national market will be greatly expanded in scope and depth to help us understand any changes required.’

Stakeholder engagement is crucial

Taylor: “We consider public consultation to be crucial in the development of a flexibility market at the distribution network level and we aim to structure this. We will reach out to a broad base of stakeholders including local government and institutional stakeholders, end-users, aggregators, other network owners (primarily gas and electricity transmission) and energy suppliers.

Trial participants will gain hands on experience in the pilot, inform the evolution of the trials, and provide valuable input into future flexibility market implementation and the further development of the USEF framework.’

About USEF Energy

USEF is already being applied to smart energy demonstration projects and, as a framework, it can be adapted to fit different scenarios and markets. The only prerequisite is that they share its core principles i.e. that flexible energy use is considered a commodity, and that trading it will impact the interaction of all stakeholders in the energy value chain.

USEF connects people, technologies, projects and energy markets. It is the basis for an integrated smart energy future that is both efficient and cost-effective. The framework defines each stakeholder role in the energy market, how they interact and how they can benefit by doing so.

FUSION as a blueprint for a smart energy future

Ultimately the company hopes that FUSION will deliver a blueprint for a national flexibility market which we can share with others. This is vital for the entire DSO network if it is to keep pace with the wider energy landscape as we move towards a smart energy future.

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