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ElectraLink, the UK’s Energy Market Data Hub, is pleased to confirm it can now provide much-needed data to National Grid following the signature of a long-awaited contract between the system operator and the central body.

This follows a change implemented by ElectraLink to the data access rules in its agreement with the users of the data transfer service in response to National Grid’s concerns over its ability to accurately gauge electricity demand during peak periods.  These concerns are caused by the volatility of renewable sources and a lack of visibility as to how much power smaller plants connected to local power networks are generating.

Rising energy demand and greater penetration of renewable energy have contributed to this growing issue. National Grid has previously warned of operability challenges caused by unpredictable renewable growth which has surged in recent years, and which is not connected to the main grid.  Discussions on the provision of MPAN level data started with National Grid in August 2017 and, with the support of Ofgem, ElectraLink completed a Data Transfer Service (DTS) Agreement change to allow the provision of MPAN level data to the System Operator in April 2018.

With the permission of its users ElectraLink captures and stores data from the DTS and has created a dataset of distribution network connected generation output which identifies 96% of all half hourly connected export sites. Provision of this data at site level is governed by the DTS user group and ElectraLink has worked with representatives across industry to ensure data to National Grid is provided under a legitimate permitted purpose and that full consideration of GDPR has been undertaken.

Stuart Lacey, Chief Executive Officer at ElectraLink said, “ElectraLink performs a vital role as the data hub at the centre of the retail energy market in the UK.  Since 2012 we have pioneered the use of market data to facilitate competition and improve the efficiency of the energy market.  We believe market data transparency is good for consumers and the energy industry however, there are good reasons why the National Grid request for MPAN level data went through a governance process overseen by the representatives of the DTS users that generate the data.  Data at this level of granularity can be used to identify individuals and I am glad that ElectraLink was able to work with the users and GDPR legislation to identify a legitimate purpose for the data requested by National Grid.”

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