Press Release

BritNed launches world’s first fully-integrated interconnector platform for energy trading

Wed 4 Oct 2023

BritNed, the High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) interconnector linking the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, has launched Empire – the world’s first fully-integrated interconnector platform.

With the support of Supercharge, BritNed replaced three legacy systems with a modern interface. Empire is poised to enable easier and new energy trading possibilities.

As a result of the partnership, BritNed will soon launch the world’s first Buy Now Auction, offering both Day Ahead and Intraday capacity after the allocation period has closed, providing more flexibility for its customers.

Over the first ten days of its operation, Empire has allocated 892GW of Day Ahead and Intraday capacity with a total Allocation Revenue of €4.4 million and 369MW of Long Term capacity for over €1.8 million. The total flow that was instructed by Empire was 184GWh, which is equivalent to powering approximately 8,000 households every single hour.

The Challenge

BritNed operates the 1GW HVDC interconnector between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, which provides an essential connection between the electricity grids of the two countries.

The high-voltage cable allows over 70 participating organisations to trade power between the two markets. To fully utilise the capacity of the interconnector and ensure safe operations, sophisticated orchestration is necessary for capacity allocation, transfer fulfilment, and financial settlements.

BritNed had previously been using multiple platforms to run Long Term, Day Ahead and Intraday auctions, manage nominations, and control energy flow.

BritNed’s ambition was to move to a single platform to ensure that it could deliver higher levels of performance and productivity in the interconnector industry.

The Solution

An analysis led to the conclusion that the previous setup of multiple systems that somewhat restricted BritNed’s innovation to roll out new and flexible allocation products should be replaced by one integrated platform.

This integrated platform promised to unlock significant productivity gains for both BritNed’s operators and clients alike, minimise curtailment losses, minimise process breakdown risks, and remove technical bottlenecks that hinder the development of innovative offers.

To achieve this, BritNed sought a partner that could bring innovative ideas and facilitate a different angle of approach. Supercharge was asked to design and develop this uniquely powerful platform in close cooperation with BritNed’s experts.

The decision to select Supercharge as the digital product development partner was based on the vendor’s expertise in creating energy software that combines cutting-edge and robust technology with a human-centred design, resulting in tools that maximise efficiency in the field of critical infrastructure.

BritNed and Supercharge spent 18 months working together to design and implement a solution that is geared towards efficiency and reliability.

“Working with Supercharge was an exceptional experience. We swiftly established common goals building a platform which stands out from what’s currently in the market, fostering a collaborative environment focused on innovation and quality,” said Nils Teipel, Commercial Operations Manager at BritNed.

The resulting platform, Empire, features API interfaces and a user experience focused on productivity. It offers an efficient and seamless work environment for over 70 companies utilising the interconnector to participate in capacity auctions and manage nominations.

Additionally, the platform enables BritNed to maximise financial performance by optimising internal operations and enabling commercial innovation in a landscape that is rapidly changing in the wake of the sustainable energy revolution.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved together; it is a great testament to how long term and meaningful partnerships can be forged,” said Daniel Homoki-Farkas, Managing Director at Supercharge.

The Results

Empire offers a single-window solution for BritNed’s clients, including energy generators and traders, as well as the BritNed operators, allowing them to manage both long and short-term auctions and nominations from one place.

The platform is integrated with BritNed’s Control Point System and various Third Parties in the European Energy Industry, enabling highly automated operations.

Each component of the platform has been meticulously designed to meet the specific needs of energy sector participants, resulting in streamlined workflows and reliable performance.

By replacing fractured and cumbersome multi-platform workflows with efficient integrated journeys, the platform significantly reduces the workload of traders and operators. This frees up capacity and allows human experts to focus on critical decisions and have access to relevant data when needed on a single easy-to use platform.

By consolidating all information into one integrated platform, it becomes possible to create dashboards that provide a comprehensive overview of relevant auctions, allocations, and nominations to all participants, encompassing all timescales within a Delivery Day. This enables faster and more accurate decision-making, observing and setting the position for each participant in a more comprehensive way, and ultimately leading to improved business outcomes.

The new platform offers well-documented APIs that enable seamless integration for companies participating in auctions through its own internal systems. These modern interfaces reduce IT operational costs for customers and establish reliable, real-time data connections, enabling the customers to extract more data than previously.

As a result of optimised and automated workflows in case of unplanned outage/asset failure of BritNed’s undersea cable, BritNed’s operators are now able to react and fully take control of all operational aspects of such unforeseen consequences in a matter of minutes.

This quick action can result in BritNed’s position being closer to its operational flow, which in turn causes a smaller imbalance and issues in the wider European Energy Market. It also helps to significantly decrease potential financial losses through curtailment compensation and Backup Power Purchase agreements for all involved parties.

Looking Ahead

In the past, rigid IT solutions were often the roadblocks in the way of changing the established allocation product offering. With a modern, scalable platform BritNed’s team can bring ground-breaking new products to the market faster and easier.

If BritNed is able to return to service from a planned or unplanned outage, it has the option to utilise its spare capacity and offer it to its customers.

Further future product considerations entail new customised Long Term Auction products such as ‘Winter Period Auction’, shorter lead time Intraday Allocations and utilising the cables dynamic overload capacity mechanisms to offer additional capacity to the Intraday Auctions.

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