USEF flexibility market launched in GB

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GB network operator SP Energy Networks’ Project Fusion has launched the country’s first fully functioning Universal Smart Energy Framework (USEF) flexibility market.

Project Fusion, a five-year £5.7 million ($7.7 million) project initiated in 2018 to create an active distribution network, is designed to unlock the value of local demand side flexibility in managing congestion for the utility and its customers as well as the intermediary aggregators.

USEF was developed as a flexibility market design for the trading and commoditisation of energy, incorporating the roles and responsibilities of new players such as aggregators in the energy market.

The framework was conceived as a common standard for the European market, where it has been widely implemented, and defines products, processes and agreements as well as specifying data exchange, interface and control features.

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Due diligence indicated a close fit both to the current GB market design as well as its likely future direction.

The trial has been implemented in the East Fife region of Scotland, with Engie Power Limited and Orange Power Limited acting as the aggregators of customer flexibility.

“We’re pioneering fresh learnings to help lay the foundations for a greener and fairer electric future at an international level,” says Graham Campbell, Director of Processes and Technology at SP Energy Networks.

“Project FUSION enables us to make better use of existing electricity infrastructure by interacting with customers smartly. Learnings from the trial will quantify the benefits and inform the transition towards a more standardised market. This would encourage participation and competition while lowering the costs of flexibility to save our customers money.”

The trial is set to run until at least mid-2023 with the learnings set to influence the possible wider implementation of the USEF model in Britain’s energy market.

Alongside the launch of the trial SP Energy Networks also issued a tender for 4.5MW of flexibility in Fife. This is the second tender for the project following a 2.5MW tender call in December 2020.