A decision made by Ofgem to require all DNOs to create a standardised register for distributed energy resources (DERs) has now been implemented.

The DCUSA code modification requires a public standardised register to be created by all DNOs and independent distribution network operators (IDNOs) of sites larger than 1MW with DERs that are connected to or have an agreement to connect to their networks.

This includes generation assets, storage assets and demand sites that have a contract to provide demand side response.

It came into effect on Saturday (11 July) and was proposed by UK Power Reserve, which is owned by Sembcorp Energy UK, on behalf of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Panel of Technical Experts (PTE).

The lack of data on DERs has also been raised by a variety of industry stakeholders, Ofgem said. In particular, the Energy Data Taskforce recommended in June 2019 that an asset registration strategy should be created for increased registration compliance and greater data reliability and collection efficiency, alongside a data catalogue to provide visibility through the standardisation of datasets across government, regulation and industry.

Sembcorp added that the PTE and Energy Data Taskforce recommendations encompassed in the code change came about due to industry concerns that insufficient and incomplete data on DERs connected to distribution networks had compromised the National Grid ESO’s ability to accurately forecast power supply adequacy.

The need for more transparent data has also been highlighted by a number of DNOs themselves, as well as the Energy Networks Association (ENA). In January, the ENA highlighted how enhancing transparency through enabling greater data visibility, as well as providing more consistent access to non-confidential data, was a priority of the Open Networks Project in 2020.

As part of this, DNOs have begun to publish data on connections to their networks in a consistent format through the System Wide Resource Registers (SWRRs). However, these “do not contain all the necessary data fields to enable NG ESO to carry out system security analysis and wider stakeholders to utilise them effectively”, Ofgem said.

The data for the new Electricity Capacity Registers should be provided from existing sources held by the DNO or already publicly available, it said. If the data is not available, it should be requested from customers or other stakeholders, for example National Grid ESO.

Ofgem continued to state that it “encourages collaborative working between DNOs, IDNOs, NG ESO, suppliers as well as network customers to achieve a complete and accurate dataset”.

Alessandra De Zottis, regulatory affairs manager at Sembcorp Energy UK, said the registers represent a “step change when it comes to the transparency and accessibility of DNOs’ data”.

“Understanding the configuration of distribution networks will unlock the potential for a wide range of providers to make the most effective decisions and offer the most competitive solutions to support the networks where they need us most.

“This in turn will lead to more competitive and economically efficient electricity markets that can bring benefits to consumers through increased value and lower costs.”

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