Project Local Energy Oxfordshire (LEO), in conjunction with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ TRANSITION project, is embarking on its second phase of flexibility market trials, offering small businesses and organisations the possibility of earning up to £1,200/MWh by helping to support the network.

Flexibility is the ability to shift the timing and location of the generation, storage or consumption of electricity in response to a request. It will play a crucial role in a cost-effective transition to net zero and a smart system which uses technologies to balance supply and demand and manage constraints on the network. 

LEO’s first trial period ran from November ’21 to March ’22 and tested whether flexibility providers could respond to requests to either increase their generation or decrease their demand for electricity temporarily, to help balance the network at peak times.

The second trial period began this month and is opening up access to the custom-built trading platform to any business or organisation operating in the project trial areas in Oxfordshire. This is LEO’s most ambitious trial to date, with more participants testing new services, including the requirement to decrease generation and increase demand temporarily.

Potential flexibility providers are invited to visit the project website to see if they are in one of the trial areas and to express their interest in taking part by completing a simple form.

The current trial period runs from May until September ’22, offering Projects LEO and TRANSITION the opportunity to test flexibility provision over a day, a week or a whole season. Participants in this summer trial period have an unparalleled opportunity to help shape the future energy market and ensure that it is designed to accommodate organisations like them.

Father and son team, Phil and Peter Shadbolt of EZ-Charge, part of the Oxfordshire Park and Charge Project, said:

“Flexibility trading could become a core part of our EV charging business offering tangible cost savings for our customers. By participating in the LEO trials we know we are helping to shape the flexibility market of the future and ensuring that it is fit for purpose for everyone to engage with, including smaller, family-run businesses like us.

“During the trials, we aim to test our EV charging customers’ appetite for varying charging habits dependent on grid demand and supply via the EZ-Charge APP. We are looking forward to establishing how this additional strand of the conversation between our customer base and ourselves can be developed.”

Dr Barbara Hammond, CEO of the Low Carbon Hub said:

“We’re really pleased to be taking part in these flexibility market trials with our range of renewable energy assets including a hydro, battery storage and aggregated solar PV panels. We are demonstrating the potential flexibility can have in helping us achieve our net zero goals. These trials are building up the bank of evidence we need to show how we can make the network more efficient to support more renewables and plug in more green technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps.

“We are delighted to be part of this vital project.”

Justin Ma, CEO of Orange Power said:

“As an aggregator, we are on the front line of engaging with customers who have flexibility potential in their homes and ensuring they can engage with this emergent market. We are looking at how to inform and support our customers and the LEO trial offers us a safe testing space to put our principles into action. Supporting the local electricity network can help keep costs down for all customers and ensure network capacity is maximised.

Organisations who are interested in joining the Project LEO trials should contact Charlotte Hewes: charlotte.hewes@sse.com

Participants can view the payment structure for flexibility services, here.
Organisations can register their interest in the trials, here.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We are the electricity Distribution Network Operator (DNO) responsible for delivering power to over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and the north of Scotland. We serve some of the most diverse and unique geographies across the UK, and keep customers and communities connected whilst developing the flexible electricity network vital to achieving net zero.