Western Power Distribution has joined a trial of the local flexibility marketplace Piclo Flex, meaning all six distribution network operators (DNOs) in Great Britain have now signed up to the online platform.

UK Power Networks was the first to join in January followed by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, Electricity North West, Northern Powergrid and most recently SP Energy Networks in October.

Piclo Flex was created to provide a matching service for local flexibility – hosting procurement tenders and allowing buyers and sellers to register the locations where it will be needed and available.

It is an offshoot from a peer-to-peer energy trading platform called Piclo which Open Utility launched in 2015. It has since taken the name Piclo for itself and rebranded the original platform as Piclo Engage.

Piclo was awarded more than £400,000 by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in October last year to undertake a trial of Piclo Flex.

WPD said its participation in the trial will support its own initiative for procuring flexibility services within its license areas called Flexible Power.

Ben Godfrey, network strategy team manager at WPD, said: “Allowing our flexibility needs to be displayed on Piclo Flex should drive more participation and build upon the visibility already available on our website’s network flexibility map”.

Piclo co-founder and chief executive James Johnston said: “We are very excited to welcome Western Power Distribution to the Piclo Flex consortium. We view their decision to trial our platform as being very significant in a number of ways.

“For the first time flexibility providers will be able to access all DNO flexibility opportunities in GB through a single platform, via the same format and using common processes.”

Johnston told Utility Week nearly 100 flexibility providers have now registered on Piclo Flex. UK Power Networks is expected to hold the first tender on the platform shortly.

Piclo plans to launch the platform on a commercial basis following the end of the BEIS-sponsored trial on 15 February 2019.