Centrica reveals major breakthrough in Local Energy Market trial

Centrica has announced that it has reached a significant breakthrough on the path to a more “flexible and responsive” electricity grid through its Local Energy Market trial in Cornwall.

On 11 November, it revealed that for the first time, anywhere in the world, both the local distribution system operator, Western Power Distribution, and the transmission system operator, National Grid ESO, are procuring flexibility at the same time through a single third-party platform – in this case, Centrica’s auction-based marketplace. Centrica’s LEM programme has been operating since 2017, involving 100 homes across Cornwall that have had solar and battery systems installed. Over 125 Cornish businesses have also seen a range of flexible, low carbon energy technologies and monitoring equipment installed.

Colm Murphy, Electricity Market Change Development Manager at National Grid ESO, said that while the trial was in its early stages, they were looking forward to evaluating the results. Murphy added: “In particular we’re keen to understand how flexibility can be procured efficiently and cost effectively between different markets. The potential is really exciting as we look to unlock more flexible energy resources in the market, and greater cost benefits to consumers.”

A full update will be provided by Centrica once the trials conclude in spring 2020.