Network operators collaborate on blockchain data register for generation and storage

Energy firms and network operators have teamed together to create a shared register powered by blockchain for energy generation and storage data, in a bid to improve the decarbonisation and operating costs of the UK energy system.

Network operators collaborate on blockchain data register for generation and storage

The first phase of the project will map generation and storage assets with an installed capacity of more than 1MW

Electron, National Grid Electricity System Operator, SP Energy Networks and UK Power Networks will work together on the RecorDER project, aimed at creating a comprehensive and data-driven view of assets that are connected to energy networks. The improved visibility and availability of asset data will be used to inform decisions related to reducing operating costs and accelerating decarbonisation through the integration of renewables and the use of energy storage assets.

“This is a great example of networks collaborating to deliver benefits to their customers. We are delighted to be working together with such key, forward-thinking industry partners on a shared asset register,” Electron’s chief executive Jo-Jo Hubbard said.

“This is an important first step in the process of integrating distributed assets and allowing them to play their full role in balancing the electricity system.”

The blockchain platform will remove the requirement for either a large-scale infrastructure project to be developed, or for a central party having to host the system.

The first phase of the project will map generation and storage assets with an installed capacity of more than 1MW.

It is hoped that the platform will enable network operators, aggregators and regulators to collaborate on shared datasets that create industry standards for generation and asset use. Asset owners and managers can also link their assets to be used in connected systems.

The platform builds on the work of both the Energy Data Taskforce and ENA’s Open Networks System Wide Resource Register, aimed at granting secure data access from network operators which ensures that new data isn’t siloed.

NGSO Innovation head Carolina Tortora said: “Embracing new technology is essential to managing the energy system efficiently and RecorDER is one example of how we are working in partnership across the industry to identify new and exciting ways to work together.

“If successful, this register could lay the foundations for a robust GB-wide flexibility market across transmission and distribution, unlocking huge value for consumers and driving the transition to a low-carbon flexible energy future.”

Storage boon

The project will incentivise use of energy storage assets across the UK. Planning permission applications to install energy storage facilities in the UK have quadrupled since 2016, with a massive increase in capacity expected in the next few years.

database revealed that UK applications for storage portfolios totalled just 2MW of capacity in 2012, soaring to a cumulative total of 6,874MW in 2018. More than 300 UK-based firms are now estimated to be involved in this growing market.

Globally, the energy storage market is expected to double six times by 2030 to reach 125GW, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

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Matt Mace

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