Customer data management crucial to system operation – E.DSO white paper

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Efficient data management is key to enabling the new functionalities of the energy system, stresses the European Distribution System Operators E.DSO.

The association points out in a new white paper that DSOs have profound experience in meter data management and this role has traditionally been accepted. However, new requirements are emerging with the energy transition with the connection of the majority of customer distributed energy resources and the introduction of new business models to enable their participation in the system.

Currently the DSOs support the electricity market with data collection and processing by administering metering points, providing information for billing, supporting supplier switching, facilitating the settlement process, providing information to local authorities, cooperating with transmission system operators and monitoring, planning and operating their networks.

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In their role as market facilitators, DSOs obtain grid data, customer data and market data, which they are intended to share in an efficient, transparent and non-discriminatory way to all eligible parties.

Thus the management of data remains crucial to operate the distribution system flexibly while responding to customer needs and managing critical situations appropriately, says the white paper.

Emerging requirements regarding data management are identified with the participation of distributed resources in flexibility services from demand side response, congestion management and balancing mechanisms.

Data exchange

E.DSO states that a crucial aspect of data management is the exchange of data, especially across information systems of different stakeholders. Thus interoperability is required.

There is a competition of platforms and ecosystems for cross sectoral and cross border data exchanges. Single solutions such as centralised cross border exchange platforms cause regulation and governance challenges.

A core reference model giving transparency to the market via a comparison of national processes would be a practical and cost efficient way forward to reduce market entry barriers for individual service providers.

The paper advocates for DSOs to perform the role of Meter Data Operator, with the economies of scale and scope that they offer as an independent operator.

The paper also notes that the decentralisation of the energy system forces a bottom up decentralised data management approach starting at the customers in order to allow the secure and efficient functioning of the distribution grids.