Elexon is not the home planet of the Daleks (that in fact is Skaro.. sad) It’s the company that ensures the transactions in the whole energy buying, selling and grid stuff across the UK works. You have sellers (generators who make energy) and users of energy (you me and the rest of the UK) and you have the distributors (grid and local networks). How does just the right amount of energy get generated to keep the lights on and not too much? how do we know how many customers there are in the UK to generate the right amount for? when as happened late last year the National Grid almost runs out of energy how do we make sure the right people pay for the really expensive reactive energy that had to be called upon from Irish diesel generators. Who pays, how much and how’s this managed?
It’s all done under the auspices of something called the Balance and Settlement code which is managed by Elexon. ‘Imbalances’ (not enough or too much energy) are managed by the National Grid but this comes at a cost and Elexon manage the ‘fairness’ aspect by matching supply contracts with consumption contracts from suppliers and by looking at 1.5m meters a day to identify who pays this imbalance cost eg your power station catches fire (happens more often than you think) because the power station is contracted to generate a certain amount of energy at a certain time The National Grid would need to recover the cost of bringing more energy in to the system to make up the short fall at short notice and pass the cost on to the failed generator. Most people in renewable energy i have found are unaware of all this aspect because we are not one of the big boys!
Right… whats this got to do with me? As of Monday the Bethesda Cyd Ynni energy supply trial got the thumbs up from Elexon. (lots of minor balancing and settlement happening in the community) Our Partners Energy Local, together with Cooperative Energy were given a the go ahead to trial a ‘C’ class metering (complex) licence (Mary Gillie one of the brains behind the whole thing told me its the same in principle as a very large airport.) Bethesda and Heathrow have something in common! The local small generator will be supplying the community with cheaper home-grown energy by using the existing local grid but the generator and the consumer will be viewed as a single entity within a form of energy club and the whole thing under a licenced supplier Cooperative Energy (nice people) lots and lots of ifs and buts but more to come