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Whalley Community Hydro in peer-to-peer energy trading trial

Posted at 25/02/2016 | By : | Categories : News / Blog | Comments Off on Whalley Community Hydro in peer-to-peer energy trading trial

Whalley Community hydro is taking part in a pioneering trial that may alter the way in which electricity is distributed and sold in future.

If the electricity you use could be generated just round the corner from your house or business, it puts far less load on the grid and costs are reduced. This development is part of what is sometimes known as a ‘smart grid’. It is becoming possible with far more power being generated locally from small solar, wind and hydro plants distributed around the country. Ultimately it could mean that much of the huge cost of upgrading the national grid could be avoided.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change have sponsored and funded a six month trial which involves a company called Open Utility and Good Energy, the utility Whalley Hydro sells its power to. The trial, named Piclo, started on 1st October 2015. It is principally to test the software being developed by Open Utility.

We are proud to have been chosen to help pioneer a scheme that may eventually revolutionise the way electricity is generated, bought and sold. At present it is only available to larger organisations that employ half-hourly metering, but eventually it could be rolled out to many more consumers. The initial trial features about 25 generators and 10 consumers, the largest and probably best known is the Eden Project in Cornwall. In time Whalley Hydro may be able to supply power to local customers at a cheaper rate.

There is probably no financial benefit to our participation in the scheme, but little downside risk either. A positive is that we will be taking part in the first ever trial of a ‘smart grid’ scheme in the UK that could become an integral part of the energy market in future. We will gain experience for if and when such schemes to create local energy markets become more widespread.

To quote the press release of March 2015:
Innovative energy startup, Open Utility, has teamed up with 100% renewable electricity supplier, Good Energy, to trial a pioneering new service that will enable commercial consumers and renewable generators to trade electricity. The aim of the online marketplace, named Piclo, is to provide an ‘eBay for energy’ that could offer more transparency and control than ever before. The 6 month trial allows businesses to buy renewable electricity directly from specific sites. Renewable generators will be able to sell their electricity directly to their neighbours, local businesses or schools for the best price. Good Energy will act as utility partner for the ground-breaking scheme, working closely with Open Utility to ensure that Piclo meets all regulatory requirements and help facilitate billing.


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