Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) bolstered two important energy innovation/flexibility projects with regulatory advice and impact guides from ElectraLink.

Regulation is complex and changes fast

SSEN is one of Britain’s Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and a pioneer of decarbonisation in the electricity sector. With Net Zero legislation guiding progress for the energy sector for the next three decades, DNOs like SSEN are putting greater focus on flexibility services to respond to climate challenges. Local Energy Oxfordshire (LEO) – a smart grid trial – and TRANSITION – a stakeholder modelling framework are two of SSEN’s flexibility projects forming part of this flexibility focus.

However, a constant concern for SSEN is the pace of change in energy regulations and codes. Innovation projects like LEO and TRANSITION need regulatory impact assessment and governance principles to transform the electricity system while adhering to evolving regulations.

To roll out scaled versions of these pathfinding projects, SSEN needed to understand how the development of their flexibility services fit in the context of the code and regulatory landscape and the steps required to unlock these services.

SSEN brought in ElectraLink for governance and code expertise

ElectraLink has deep knowledge of regulation and compliance in the electricity system as code manager of several large industry codes, including the Distribution Connection and Use of System Agreement (DCUSA). The Advisory Services team has combined decades of experience in facilitating change, setting strategies and collaborating with diverse stakeholders to achieve industry goals.

SSEN approached the Advisory Services team to develop a framework and other plans to build on existing work from industry colleagues and plot points of impact where projects LEO and TRANSITION would interact with regulations, codes and governance.

SSEN participated in workshops to discover and validate these impact points, whereafter the regulatory roadmap, service framework and impact assessment were drafted with their continued input. These items were designed for repeated use, consisting of flexible principles to absorb market change.

The development of this solution took five months, with ElectraLink tailoring the approach as SSEN needed, and culminated in a final report capturing the outputs SSEN required.

SSEN followed guidance for new flexibility services

SSEN fed the regulatory guidance report findings into planning and development of five flexibility services for the LEO and TRANSITION projects. Immediate benefits included due diligence and guidance for innovation rollout, and, most importantly, SSEN acquired knowledge to identify barriers and overcome regulatory challenges.

Ultimately, SSEN developed a better understanding of the regulatory and code landscape where their flexibility products will run and contribute to decarbonisation of the UK’s energy system.