New marketplace resolves congestion issues in Stockholm

An entirely new market for flexibility opened in the Stockholm region on December 1st, 2020. The marketplace, operated by NODES AS, saw the distribution system operators (DSOs) Vattenfall Eldistribution and Ellevio make their first trades through the NODES platform to relieve congestion on the network.

In total, Vattenfall Eldistribution purchased 353 MW/hour (in the two DSO regions Stockholm South and Stockholm North) for Sunday 31 January and Monday 1 February.  Trades took place with three different flexibility service providers: an energy firm, a property management company and an aggregator. Flexibility was purchased for the hours 15-21 on the Sunday and 08-10 and 17-19 on the Monday.

The marketplace for trading flexibility was established under the research project, sthlmflex, with the aim of creating greater efficiency and wider participation in solving the electricity capacity shortages in the Stockholm region. In a market for flexibility, producers, industry and households can offer network capacity against a payment. This frees up capacity on the network when electricity consumption reaches high levels, such as on cold winter days.

“This project is unique in multiple ways, not least in terms of the close collaboration between the network operators and the significant participation from industry and property management company. The new market is open to participation from new players and provides price signals for flexibility and the use of electricity. Sthlmflex is an important element in resolving the constrained situation in the region’s electricity network,” says Yvonne Ruwaida, Business Strategist at Vattenfall Distribution.

”With the purchase of flexibility services, the two distribution networks also exchanged transmission connection capacity subscription levels with each other for the very first time. Ellevio lowered it transmission connection capacity subscription and Vattenfall Eldistribution was able to increase its subscription when the flexibility services were delivered on the common market in the Stockholm region,” she concludes.

”What is particular about sthlmflex is that Vattenfall Eldistribution and Ellevio buy flexibility in eachother’s network regions, in collaboration with the transmission system operator Svenska kraftnät. On the market, the price of flexibility competes both across Vattenfall Eldistribution and Ellevio’s network regions and also with the price of temporary transmission connection capacity subscription, when this is available. NODES’ marketplace makes it easier for the buyers to take the measure that is the most cost effective and contributes to that the shift to a modern, green energy system takes place at as low a cost as possible”, says Sofia Eng, Project Manager at NODES.

Sthlmflex shows how flexibility markets can be used to solve real challenges in the grid. As we seek to move to a more sustainable and efficient energy system, putting a value on the flexibility enables new market participants to contribute and become part of the wider energy value chain. This is another big step forward on our path to achieving net zero.

About sthlmflex

sthlmflex is run by Svenska kraftnät and the DSOs Ellevio and Vattenfall Eldistribution who act as buyers of flexibility during the project. sthlmflex runs during the period 1 December 2020 – 31 March 2021 when consumption, during the so-called high load months, is the highest and the need for flexibility is the greatest. The project is in a research and test phase.

NODES is the market operator. EON also provides a decision making support tool to the DSOs.

More information on sthlmflex can be found here: