Platform and Process Updates to DSO Competitions: September 2023

In September 2023, Piclo released a number of product and platform updates to simplify and standardise procurement processes for Flexibility Service Providers. Some of these changes help align Piclo to the outputs of the Open Networks initiative, a group of all nine UK System Operators.

This article describes the changes to the procurement process throughout Piclo, and other changes in the platform.

Procurement Process Changes

  • Pre-qualification Questionnaire removed
  • Framework agreements

Platform changes

  • New asset data requirements 
  • New capacity directions for assets
  • Migration of existing asset data
  • Future product releases

Procurement Process Changes

Pre-qualification Questionnaire removed

From September 2023, Flexibility Service Providers will no longer be required to submit a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for UK DSO Flexibility competitions.

Instead, Flexibility Service Providers need only complete the fields required on the Asset Upload template in the platform. Please read the Platform Changes below to learn more.

Framework agreements

Open Networks have also standardised contracts into a single, common Standard Agreement, also known as a Framework Agreement. System Operators in the UK will begin using this contract from September 2023, though some may introduce this contract at a later date. The ON Standard Agreement is available here.

Providers will need to submit this contract during Company Qualification (DPS). Providers that are already approved via Company Qualification (DPS) will be asked to submit the contract to the System Operator outside the platform.

Platform Changes

Asset Eligibility

When assets are uploaded to the platform, Piclo will automatically determine if they match a competition’s criteria. If they do, the asset will be labelled as ‘eligible’. The System Operator can then manually perform a technical assessment and qualify any assets, until the competition open date. If System Operators manually qualify any eligible assets, then they become qualified. Only qualified assets are allowed to bid. Previously, assets were automatically ‘qualifying’, even before System Operators confirmed they were truly qualified to bid.

Confirm Entry

In order to bid into competitions, providers must now use the Confirm Entry page to declare that they intend to enter a competition. Providers will be guided to this page when clicking on a competition or it can be found manually at Manage > Qualification > Confirm entry status. Whilst this was previously an optional step, this is now mandatory to bid into any DSO Flexibility competition.

New asset data requirements

Instead of completing a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire, providers need only to upload assets using the platform’s Asset Upload spreadsheet.

Providers can upload assets to see if they are eligible, by uploading an asset with only the few required fields. This helps FSPs to see which services they are eligible for, with minimal effort. To qualify and bid into DSO Flexibility competitions, Flexibility Service Providers need to upload all the optional remaining asset data fields. System Operators will only qualify assets with the full set of asset data fields.

See the Asset Qualification article for more details on eligibility and qualification.

New active power capacity fields for assets

System Operators in the UK have agreed to request four directional fields from Flexibility Service Providers to describe their assets' active power capacity. All providers adding or updating assets must use these new fields, which are visible in the Asset Upload template. Reactive power capacity fields remain unchanged.

When assets are uploaded via Asset Upload, providers will see four, new active capacity fields. On upload, these are summed together to calculate the asset’s total Active Import and Active Export fields, which are used throughout the platform. Piclo's Active Import and Active Export fields will remain unchanged throughout all other files and user interfaces, until future releases.

The four new active power capacity fields are:

  • Active Generation Turn Up
  • Active Demand Turn Down
  • Active Generation Turn Down
  • Active Demand Turn Up

Upon upload, these four fields are summed to produce your assets’ Active Import and Active Export capacity as follows:

Active Export

    • = Active Demand Turn Down + Active Generation Turn Up

Active Import

    • = Active Demand Turn Up + Active Generation Turn Down

See Asset Status, Type and Capacity article for more information.

Migration of existing asset data

Based on your assets’ technology category, the existing Active Import and Active Export values of assets have been migrated to the four new active power capacity fields. Data has been migrated in line with the typical actions an asset in that category is likely to perform. This migration does not affect your existing contracts, qualification or platform actions in any way.

These new values will be visible when downloading existing assets. Flexibility Service Providers are free to re-upload assets with amended capacity values if desired.

The values in Active Import and Active Export fields have been migrated to one of the four fields, as shown below. The corresponding fields have been left blank.

Future product releases

Throughout early Q4, Piclo will continue to align the platform to Open Networks' workstream outputs, including releasing new data fields to Piclo's API, and other file downloads and interfaces.

Please contact for further questions and feedback on this set of releases.

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