First stages of Open Balancing Platform go live

To revolutionise the balancing mechanism, to support the delivery of net-zero, the ESO has developed the Open Balancing Platform.

  • The first stage of this new platform will go live this week, to support the bulk dispatch of battery storage and small Balancing Mechanism Units.
  • This will further optimise the operation of the network and enable hundreds of smaller units to receive instructions from the ESO control room.
  • Further stages will be delivered over the next 18 months to integrate additional services into the Open Balancing Platform.
  • By 2027 this iterative approach will have allowed the Open Balancing Platform to replicate and replace the existing Electricity Balancing System, Balancing Mechanism and the Ancillary Services Dispatch Platform.

As part of its wider Balancing Programme, the ESO, the electricity system operator for Great Britain’s national electricity network, has today launched the first stage of its new Open Balancing Platform.

This first stage of the Open Balancing Platform will unlock new levels of precision for the ESO control room, enabling Bulk Dispatch, a new tool that will allow control room engineers to send hundreds of instructions to smaller Balancing Mechanism Units and  Battery storage units sites at the press of a single button.

This new system will enable ESO control room engineers to choose options from a pre-selected and optimised list of units to meet a network requirement. This will greatly reduce the time taken to instruct balancing mechanism units and reduce the number of manual instructions required from the control room. This will drive increased value for consumers by increasing the optimisation of network balancing, speeding up the process and reducing costs.

The optimisation of control room instructions from the Open Balancing Platform will enable technologies like battery storage to play a more active role in balancing the network.

Future stages of the Open Balancing Platform will be delivered across 2024 and 2025 to incorporate a wider range of technologies into the Bulk Dispatch process, as well as transfer existing response and reserve services from the Ancillary Services Dispatch Platform to the new Open Balancing Platform. 

By 2027 the Open Balancing Platform will grow to replace both the existing Balancing Mechanism (the system used to balance supply and demand second by second) and the Ancillary Services Dispatch Platform (the system used to procure the ESO’s operational reserves and contingency resources).

Craig Dyke, Director of System Operations, ESO

“The Open Balancing Platform is critical to delivering the balancing system we need to meet net-zero. Further diversification of generation assets, both in technologies and size require that we deliver more flexible solutions to increase efficiencies and competition, to support the delivery of our zero carbon ambition and to create savings for consumers.”

“By enabling transformation in our balancing capabilities, the ESO can continue to deliver world class reliability and security, both now and in the future.”