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News & Insights

Turning up low-carbon heat pumps and EVs in Scotland keep wind turbines spinning

18 July 2023

  • Piclo has facilitated the successful procurement of residential and industrial demand
    response from Orange Power and CUB UK Ltd as part of the ESO’s new Local
    Constraint Market, using the Piclo Flex platform.
  • Rather than curtailing wind energy, which costs consumers money and hinders our net
    zero progress, households in Scotland were paid to turn-up their low carbon flex assets
    including heat pumps, EVs and electric heating.
  • This is a world-first for any national electricity network control room to use a Cloud
    based SaaS platform to procure and dispatch flexibility services.

LONDON, 29 June 2023 – Piclo, the leading independent marketplace for flexibility services, has successfully completed the first end-to-end transactions of flexibility services for the ESO’s Local Constraint Market (LCM), with Flexibility Service Providers Orange Power and CUB UK Ltd. Since the end of May, across 10 different days, a total of 3MWh of flexibility was contracted and dispatched.

This is a step forward in managing grid flexibility, as, rather than curtailing low carbon wind, households in Scotland were incentivised to ‘turn-up’ their low carbon assets such as charging their EVs and increasing their use of electric heating or cooling in their homes and industrial sites during specified times.

This also marks a world-first for a national electricity network control room to use a Cloud based Saas platform to procure and dispatch flexibility services.  Between 2021 and 2023, £1.5 billion was used to curtail over 6.5TWh of wind power, resulting
in 2.5 million tonnes of emissions. Reducing the amount of renewable electricity which is curtailed is a key opportunity as the energy system transitions to low carbon.

This initiative will help to manage peak wind energy flows and participate in creating a local marketplace that diverts extra wind power into local assets at times when southward flows are at capacity – benefiting everyone from those who are charging EVs, businesses with battery storage and even iconic Scottish pumped hydro stations that have pioneered renewables in the region for decades.

James Johnston, CEO at Piclo said:


“This is a momentous milestone for Piclo and the ESO. It isthe first time the ESO’s control room has used a cloud based platform as part of their trading operations. This marks a turning point in the energy transition, where the introduction of a digital marketplace not only democratises access to flexibility markets by reducing barriers for participation but also facilitates a more efficient and streamlined operation of the electricity network. We start today with 3MWh and our ambition is to grow to 30GW. This has been a massive boost to our mission to decarbonise the world’s grids.”

Companies are invited to register on Piclo Flex and upload any eligible distribution connected assets they have in Scotland to maintain the balance between energy supply and demand, ranging from aggregated residential assets to larger MW-scale assets.

Piclo and the ESO are looking to scale up these initial trials, in discussion with the Distribution Networks Operators covering the Scottish regions, to deliver meaningful volumes to reduce costs for consumers.

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