Electricity market innovation through the DCUSA Sandbox

March 5, 2020

As the secretariat of DCUSA, ElectraLink is offering end-to-end support, advice and guidance for energy market innovators wishing to use the DCUSA Sandbox, an initiative supporting Ofgem’s Innovation Sandbox Service.

ElectraLink’s Advisory Services team will work with innovators to test new products, solutions and business models against code criteria prior to their submission to the Ofgem sandbox. This will accelerate innovations for Ofgem assessments.

A range of innovations and concepts can be run through the DCUSA Sandbox, including those within flexibility, electric vehicle charging and DNO-DSO transition fields.

Ofgem recently announced that they would be expanding the activities of their Innovation Sandbox Service, known as Innovation Link, to bring flexibility and creative potential to the UK’s energy system. This is an upgrade of the original sandbox which ran over two window periods since 2017.

Cases from the previous sandbox window periods successfully provided guidance for various innovations to navigate the regulatory framework.

Ofgem’s sandbox will allow innovations to be tested in an environment where adherence to some rules is not mandatory.

As part of their sandbox service, Ofgem are not able to offer relief from the detailed codes, maintained by industry, which underpin the operation of the gas and electricity markets. Therefore, Code Administrators have been given permission to develop sandbox services of their own.

Previously, the DCUSA derogation process was too rigid for sandbox capability. A recent change proposal has opened the code to encourage a stronger drive towards supporting innovation.

For guidance through the DCUSA Sandbox, as well as assistance with the Ofgem sandbox submission process and considerations for interactions with other codes, please contact ElectraLink’s Advisory Services team at Advisory-Team@electralink.co.uk

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