What is the DSO transition and why does it matter?

Blog by Mark Sprawson, Head of Network Strategy & Transformation

For decades, distribution networks have remained fairly passive in their approach to the provision of various services and their participation in the marketplace.

The rise of ‘prosumers’ and the increased numbers of stakeholders in the value chain who are looking to utilise the distribution network as a means to leverage value and revenue (through selling services to National Grid, for example, or engaging in local peer-to-peer trading) mean that the management of the distribution network needs to be truly ‘active’ moving forward.

For all of these potential transactions to occur, there still needs to be a physical network for it to happen across. This means the distribution network is arguably even more vital going forward than it has been historically.

This is why there is an increasing movement away from a ‘network’ to a much wider ‘system’.

This ‘system’ requires an operator, and the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are currently examining how they can make the transition to Distribution System Operators (DSOs).

A key part of this process is working out how they can act as neutral market facilitators. An example of this is if you want to sell the energy that is stored in your home energy storage system to your neighbour so they can charge their electric vehicle, then the physical network and wider market system is there to enable this to happen.

EA Technology is at the forefront of the transition away from DNOs to DSOs, not just in the UK but globally.

We have vast experience in helping DNOs understand what a future smart system looks like, and in shaping industry direction.

We have assisted a UK DNO in defining their DSO vision and strategy, and are currently involved in a similar piece of work for a DNO in New Zealand.

We have played a pivotal role in the world-leading Open Networks project in the UK, which seeks to understand how the DSO could manifest in a range of potential future worlds.

Our industry-leading expertise and credentials in this space have led to us now implementing the same philosophy in Australia as part of their cross-industry Open Energy Networks project.

The DSO transition is the most significant change to our distribution networks in decades and EA Technology is ideally placed to help operators make sense of it, developing targeted plans to make the transition a success for themselves and their stakeholders.

 

  • For more information, contact Mark Sprawson on +44 (0) 151 339 4181.