Ofgem amends DNO register requirements

Regulator updates rules on connected asset reporting with immediate effect.

One year after an initial proposal by flexible generation business, UK Power Reserve, Ofgem has modified its Distribution Code DCP350. The modification – which took effect on July 11, 2020 – now requires DNOs to compile registers of all network-connected assets with a >1MW capacity that have an influence on the national grid.

The change is, according to Ofgem, to: “address concerns that the lack of reliable data on Distributed Energy Resources (DER), connected to distribution networks, has compromised the National Grid Electricity System Operator’s (ESO’s) ability to accurately forecast power supply adequacy.”

The modification notices states the issue has been highlighted by the BEIS Panel of Technical Experts, stating that: “Data on DER is important in order to economically and efficiently operate and invest in the energy system as well as ensuring a well-functioning power market.”

The reporting requirement, required to be updated on a monthly basis, will now also apply to independent DNOs (IDNOs)and include sites with connection agreements.  As well as calling for greater collaboration on data sharing between DNOs, IDNOs and the ESO, the regulator is also requesting DNOs contact other stakeholders and even customers themselves for any relevant data they do not hold or have direct access to. Recognising the issues of publishing customer data, Ofgem stated its intention to: “include a licence obligation for network companies to follow our data best practice guidance when working with data.”

Amongst other stated improvements as a result of the reporting change, Ofgem believes: “DNOs and The ESO will be able to better assess where connections could offer services for network management or system operation and therefore should introduce greater levels of competition into these markets.”

Although having published asset registers in February 2020 as part of the ENA’s Open Networks project, Ofgem felt this did not go far enough by way of providing the required information. The new information has been formatted to allow the DNOs to add to the existing registers, with the DNOs being allowed to publish the information individually on their websites, rather than as part of a combined public list.