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IntraFlex: Trading flexibility closer to real-time

Building on the success of its current procurement of flexibility services, Western Power Distribution has launched IntraFlex, a new innovation project with NODES and Smart Grid Consultancy.

The Network Innovation Allowance-funded project deployed the NODES platform in the UK and created a new, closer to real-time, flexibility market for the Distribution Network Operator (DSO). This allowed providers to offer flexibility in the day-ahead and intra-day timeframes with a number of features developed to ensure that any actions do not create an imbalance in the wider electricity market.

Operating closer to real-time should allow new participants to access the markets whilst key features such as a day ahead information services, as well as an auto-rebalancing function to the intra-day market, will look to lower supplier exposure to imbalance costs and decrease the costs of providing flexibility in the long run.

The project utilized a market platform designed and operated by NODES. This has been piloted in other European trials and will be extended by NODES as part of the project to add imbalance mitigation features.

The trial was supported by Smart Grid Consultancy which provided project management skills, technical expertise, and on-the-ground recruitment know-how.

The trial started with stakeholder engagement aimed at validating the market design and ensuring its value to the UK electricity system. “This trial will help us to better understand the impact that calling flexibility will have on energy suppliers when we establish a flexibility market that operates close to real-time.  Utilising the NODES platform will allow for new flexibility providers to offer their services confidently in the market” says Ben Godfrey, Network Strategy Manager, NGED (previously known as WPD).