Emerging Tech

Western Power Distribution study into "virtual private wires"

Lux Nova provided legal and commercial input into Western Power Distribution’s study into opportunities and models for locally matched electricity networks.

Working together with an expert consortium brought together by our client, Open Utility Limited, we provided regulatory input into this study.  Our role was to explain the regulatory boundaries to lawful distribution and supply activity, in connection with renewable electricity generation balanced with local electricity consumption, as well as explaining barriers to extension of some of the concepts involved and the limiting factors that presented on “virtual private wire” models. Based on our market knowledge, we were also able to highlight where market opportunities would arise, helping to direct other aspects of the work undertaken by other members of the consortium.

 The study is important in dismissing one model of ‘virtual private wire’ as non-viable but also identifying the potential value in another model, based on locational DUoS charging.  This is feeds into a broader programme of activity we are involved in, with a number of clients and independently, to promote the wider system, environmental and societal benefits ‘local energy’ and consumer engagement.

To learn more, take a look at the study here.

Piclo launch capacity market platform with all seven DNOs

Clean energy innovator Piclo (previously known as Open Utility) has been building software for the energy market since 2013.  Lux Nova have supported Open Utility from an early stage in development including the commercialisation of its peer-matching platform for clean energy suppliers, which was launched by Good Energy as Selectricity in 2016.   

In 2017 Piclo turned their software expertise towards a new challenge.  The UK’s Distribution Service Providers (“DSOs”) were under pressure to use innovative approaches procure grid flexibility from providers such as batteries, DSR, decentralised generation. With BEIS funding, Piclo embarked on an innovation project with DSOs to develop an online marketplace for Distribution System Operator flexibility services.  Lux Nova provided legal advice and drafting on the innovation stage collaboration agreements with DSOs.  We also advised on the implications of GDPR and new data protection laws in relation to all aspects of Piclo’s business and products. 

Following successful conclusion of the BEIS trial, Lux Nova provided legal support to enable Piclo Flex to launch on a commercial basis to Flex providers and DSOs.Working collaboratively with the client we drafted bespoke platform terms of service and system operator service agreements. Piclo has now signed commercial agreements with all 6 DSOs and over 175 Flex Providers in the UK and is involved in further innovation collaboration projects to test and develop integrated clean energy systems, such as Project Leo in Oxford, which promises to be one of the most wide-ranging and holistic smart grid trials ever conducted in the UK.

CEPRO community microgrid projects


We are working with developer Clean Energy Prospector (Cepro) on their innovative community microgrid projects. Cepro plan, construct and operate fully managed community microgrids that support maximised installations of onsite renewables in both the new build and retrofit housing markets.

A typical project sees a private electric microgrid installed for a small community, behind the grid supply point. Batteries are also installed to store rooftop generated electricity not consumed at time of generation, whilst communal ground source heat pumps provide heat to the houses.

We have worked with Cepro to develop the funding models, the commercial structuring and the suite of contracts for project delivery. We look forward to continue to work with the client to further scale the projects as a template for decentralised, decarbonised and democratised energy solutions.