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Microgeneration and the Balancing and Settlement Code

v 2.0

Microgeneration and the Balancing and Settlement Code

Guidance Note


This document covers:

    • A high-level overview of the processes that Suppliers and Supplier Agents should follow to register microgeneration under the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC);

    • A guide to the processes and obligations on market participants contained in the BSC and the Balancing and Settlement Code Procedures (BSCPs); and

    • A guide on types of microgeneration and its benefits.

What are Microgenerators?

The term ‘microgeneration’ isn’t used in the BSC. However, it refers to and has specific rules for small scale generating plants, depending on capacity. This guidance note focuses on the processes in place for ‘Small Scale Third Party Generating Plant’ (currently plant with a capacity less than 30kW) and highlights where these processes differ from other generating plants.

The main types of Small Scale Generation are as follows:

    • Photo voltaic (PV) Solar Panels;

    • Wind turbines;

    • Combined Heat and Power (CHP) – usually an engine driving a generator, where the waste heat is used in a central heating system. CHP generators are being engineered to replace existing gas and oil central heating boilers; and

    • Water turbines (hydro).

Solar and some wind turbines produce the power as low voltage and direct current (DC), so a device called an inverter is used which converts the DC to 230 volts alternating current (AC).

What are the Benefits of Small Scale Generation?

Small Scale generation allows customers to generate their own electricity and/or heat (on a small scale) from a low carbon source and use it in their own premises.

There is increasing interest in this for a number of reasons:

    • Reduction in energy costs;

    • Zero or low carbon footprint;

    • Benefits from the Feed-in Tariff scheme;

    • Desire to use renewable energy; and

    • Grants have been available under the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform’s ‘Low Carbon Buildings Programme’.

What is of interest to Settlement?

The generation from small scale generating plant may be metered for renewable obligations or for benefits under the feed-in-tariff (FiT) scheme administered by OFGEM. However, only surplus energy exported back to the distribution network can be settled. Furthermore, there is no obligation to register microgeneration ‘export’ for settlement purposes or even fit an export meter. Customers or Suppliers wishing to register small scale ‘export’ for settlement can do so if they follow the defined processes and an appropriate metering system is fitted.

Do I Want to Register Export for Settlement?

If the customer wants to be paid for Export, they can arrange a contract with a Supplier to buy the surplus. This can happen by:

(a) The Supplier registering the meter in Settlement, i.e. an Export Metering System Identifier (MSID) is created for the microgenerator. Any Export recorded on this meter is taken into account when calculating the Metered Volume attributable to the Supplier. In this situation, the Supplier needs to appoint a Meter Operator Agent (MOA) a Non Half Hourly Data Collector (NHHDC) and a Non Half Hourly Data Aggregator (NHHDA). If only one meter is installed for the Import and Export, then the same MOA must be appointed to both. The Export meter is installed, registered and read in the same way as an Import Meter; or

(b) The Supplier choosing not to register the meter in Settlement. Instead, the Supplier may either pay the customer:

    • A fixed monthly fee based on an ‘estimated generation’;

    • Based on customer own meter readings; or

    • For all the energy produced whether it is used by them or by others (the meter is fitted at source rather than boundary points).

Under option (b) the energy is not accounted for in Settlement and would appear as spill on the Distribution System. This option is currently the preferred choice for most Suppliers when the amount of energy spilt is small, however the number of export metering systems registered under the BSC has increased considerably in the past few years.

What Metering is required if I choose to Settle the Exported Energy?

If you choose to register an Export Metering System in Settlement you should refer to Section L of the BSC which sets out the basic metering requirements for Import and Export of energy. This section states that the Registrant of Small Scale Third Party Generating Plant can choose whether to install Half Hourly (HH) or Non Half Hourly (NHH) Metering Equipment. All other Generating Plant should have HH Metering Equipment installed.

Most Small Scale Third Party Generating Plant is installed at a site with an associated Import Meter. The Import and Export could be recorded using the same meter, or a separate meter could be installed. Even if only one meter is installed, the Import and Export must be registered separately under the BSC i.e. the site will have separate Import and Export MSIDs.

If only one meter is installed then the Registrant should ensure that the Import and Export are recorded separately. The Supplier responsible for the Import Meter is obliged to check the existing Import Meter does not run backwards at times of surplus. A ‘backstop1’ or an electronic meter will prevent the meter from running backwards.

What are the Installation and Registration Requirements?

The installation of new MSIDs falls under two categories:

    • A new service cable is installed (a physical connection); and

    • A new MSID is needed for Settlement purposes only (a logical connection).

Physical connections do not require the Supplier to request a new MSID, as the new connection process will automatically result in raising a new MSID.

A Supplier sends a D0168 ‘Request for Additional/New MPAN Core(s)’ data flow for physical connections only to inform the Licensed Distribution System Operator (LDSO) that the customer wants a new connection, and that the customer was not aware that they had to inform the LDSO. The LDSO contacts the customer to discuss the relevant requirements and sends a D0169 ‘Allocation of New/Additional MPAN Core(s)’ flow to the Supplier when it finalises all the required details.

Where a meter is already installed and the Supplier chooses to register the Export in Settlement at a later date, the Supplier sends a D0168 flow to the LDSO requesting the creation of a MSID. The LDSO creates the MSID and sends a D0169 ‘Allocation of New/Additional MPAN Core(s)’ data flow to the Supplier. The D0168 and D0169 data flows fall under Master Registration Agreement (MRA) governance.

The LDSO informs the Supplier Metering Registration Agent (SMRA) of the new MSID within two working days of completion of the work associated with the new connection or decision/agreement to enter a new MSID.

When the MSID has been created and no more than 28 days before the Supply Start Date, the Supplier registers the MSID with the SMRA and appoints the required Supplier Agents. This ensures that the Settlement liability for the MSID is assigned to the correct Supplier. The Supplier sends the D0055 ‘Registration of Supplier to Specified Metering Point’ flow to the SMRS to register the MSID. This data flow includes the following information:

Standard Settlement Configuration (SSC) - An SSC representing the microgeneration technology is assigned to the Export MPAN reflecting the pattern of Export from the microgenerator. BSCP516: Allocation of Profile Classes and SSCs for NHH Metering Systems Registered in SMRS contains the rules for assigning the SSC. Market Domain Data (MDD) contains the list of valid SSCs identified with 'Standard Settlement Configuration Type’ of ‘E’.

Profile ClassBSCP516 contains the rules for assigning the correct Profile Class to an Export MSID. The Profile Class for the Export MSID must be allocated to the ‘Non-domestic Profile Class, with Maximum Demand recording capability and with a Load Factor greater than 40%’ i.e. Profile Class 8.

Measurement Class - Measurement Class ‘A’ should be used for all Export MSIDs to identify them as Non Half Hourly metered MSIDs.

Energisation Status – The Energisation Status for Export MSIDs should generally reflect the status of the related Import MSID. Where an Import MSID becomes de-energised then the status of the Export MSID should also be updated.

Changes to registration data can be provided to the SMRA at any time using the D0205 ‘Update Registration Details’ flow.

The Supplier is informed by the SMRA when registration isn’t successful. When registration is successful, the Supplier, LDSO and Data Aggregator are informed by the SMRA. The Data Aggregator then follows the instructions from the SMRA. BSCP501 Supplier Meter Registration Service provides more information.

Where can I find Related Information?

Data Retrieval and Processing

BSCP504 ‘Non Half Hourly Data Collection for SVA Metering Systems Registered in the SMRS’ sets out the processes to be followed by NHHDCs. The process of data retrieval and processing of Meter Readings for Export meters is the same as the standard processes for Import Meters.

Withdrawal of Meter Readings

Where a Supplier Volume Allocation (SVA) Metering System has been identified as faulty, it is necessary to ‘roll back’ to the last valid meter register reading. If the MOA has informed the NHHDC of a fault, the NHHDC sets the status of all subsequent readings to ‘Withdrawn'. Section 3.3.8 of BSCP504 provides more information.

Removal of a Metering System

If a SVA Metering System is removed, the Supplier sends a D0142 ‘Request for Installation or Change to a Metering System Functionality or the Removal of all Meters’. Further information on the removal of a Metering System can be found in BSCP514 SVA Meter Operations for Metering Systems Registered in SMRS.

Change of Supplier and Change of Agent

BSCP501Supplier Meter Registration Service’ and BSCP504: Non Half Hourly Data Collection for SVA Metering Systems in the SMRS provides more information on the Change of Supplier and Change of Agent processes.

Related Documents

    • Balancing and Settlement Code Sections: J, L, Annex S-2, Annex X-1 and X-2.

    • BSCP501 Supplier Meter Registration Service

    • BSCP504 Non Half Hourly Data Collection for SVA Metering Systems Registered in SMRS

    • BSCP514 SVA Meter Operations for Metering Systems registered in SMRS

    • BSCP516 Allocation of Profile Classes and SSC's for Non Half Hourly SVA Metering Systems Registered in SMRS

Need more information?

For more information please contact the BSC Service Desk or call 0370 010 6950.

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No representation, warranty or guarantee is made that the information in this document is accurate or complete. While care is taken in the collection and provision of this information, Elexon Limited shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, misstatements or mistakes in any information or damages resulting from the use of this information or action taken in reliance on it.

1 A ‘backstop’ is an anti-reverse mechanism to prevent electromechanical meters running backwards and crediting energy. It enables the meter to appropriately deal with reverse energy flow if Export was greater than Import at a particular site.