Piclo Flex to take another step towards commercialisation

Piclo, formerly known as Open Utility, will soon announce a second commercial agreement with a network operator for its flexible energy platform.
Published: Mon 13 May 2019

UK-based energy tech start-up Piclo is moving into the commercialisation phase after a successful government-funded trial of its flexibility platform.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) signed up to the service last month and another commercial agreement will be announced in the coming weeks, said James Johnston, chief executive and co-founder at Piclo at a conference in London last week.

SSEN will use Piclo Flex to procure flex and other ‘smart’ energy services from around 200 providers using an online auction process. A trial with six system operators concluded in March and results from auctions with UK Power Networks (UKPN) will be published soon, Johnston said.

The government-backed trial saw the participation of 200 flexibility providers with a total combined capacity of 4GW.


Piclo’s platform will reduce the need for new investment in the grid while maximising the role of flexible, low-carbon plant in the overall mix, Johnston said. “A key role of the market place is to reflect the true value that flexibility provision can have across different locations on the grid, so that make better investment decisions can be made.”

The platform currently acts as a matching service and the transactions are carried out bilaterally, but Piclo is considering ambitions to develop another stage where the DSO will play facilitator role or the platform becomes more like an exchange with more automation.

The six DSOs which participated in the trial are: Western Power Distribution, UKPN, SSEN, Electricity North West, Northern Powergrid and SP Energy Networks.

Johnston was speaking at ACI’s Digital Utilities Europe conference in London.