Data management solution for Britain’s half-hourly settlement electricity market

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Siemens and Oracle have developed a solution for electricity retailers to transition to the data processing demands of forthcoming half-hourly settlement.

The solution combines Siemens’ Elexon approved Half Hourly Data Collection and Aggregation services with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure processing to enable energy retailers to access highly scalable supplier agent services and gain customer and network insights via advanced settlement analytics, time-of-use profilers and neural network load forecasting.

The automated solution is designed to query and process readings from smart meters in 30-minute intervals in homes and small, non-domestic sites. To date, volume and performance testing has been successfully conducted to 1.5 million meters, but the solution should scale well beyond this as the industry transitions to a proposed event-driven architecture.

Half-hourly settlement is going to bring new challenges to energy suppliers, comments Nick Jones, Half Hourly Settlement Lead at Siemens.

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“Mandated half hourly settlement will create exponential growth in meter data for energy suppliers to manage at a time when personalised tariffs and energy-as-a-service will be mainstream. Managing the increased volume of data will be a challenge for many suppliers, which is why we’re urging retailers to work with partners now, both at speed and scale, to understand the opportunity interval data presents.”

Ofgem, the electricity and gas market regulator, confirmed in April the plans for Britain’s retail market to transition to half-hourly settlement by October 2025, which is the date targetted for the completion of the national smart meter rollout to domestic and non-domestic consumers.

The move is expected to unlock significant investment and innovation across the energy sector, with the development of new and more personalised service offerings with the insights from smart meter data on the more widespread use of distributed resources including rooftop solar, electric vehicles and energy storage.

Ofgem has estimated savings from £1.6 billion to £4.5 billion ($2.2-6.2 billion) over the next 25 years.

“Smart meters are a critical component in helping to drive a more sustainable future,” said Richard Petley, senior vice president and managing director for Western Europe at Oracle.

“Oracle and Siemens are collaborating to bring the computing power of OCI to the smart grid to help enable energy retailers to gain valuable insights from the data Siemens is providing.”

In the lead up to the start of the mandate suppliers are able to choose to settle consumers half-hourly on an elective basis but few suppliers are believed to have taken up this option so far.

This phase is thus key for learning as the market components are developed and put in place by Ofgem and Elexon, the balance and settlement code manager, as the programme manager.