Encirc blazes demand side trail with flexible approach

21 Aug 2017

By agreeing to turn down some of its assets for 30 minutes at times when demand for electricity is greater than supply, glass manufacturer Encirc is supporting National Grid’s Firm Frequency Response (FFR) service – and helping create a greener grid. Energy Manager David Burns explains.

Our business is at the forefront of manufacturing and filling glass containers, offering a 360 degree supply chain solution to some of the world’s most recognised brands.

We operate from two sites, one in Derrylin, Northern Ireland, and the other in Elton, Cheshire. It’s our vision to build an even stronger business by investing in our people and technology, and continuing to embrace a culture of continuous improvement.

Our industry is energy intensive, and the production of glass relies on furnaces being heated to a high temperature, which means we’re on a constant search to reduce our impact by finding new ways to recycle, minimise and reduce our energy consumption.

With energy management a major consideration, we started to explore the market for providing demand side response (DSR).

Managing energy more efficiently

We’re always on the lookout for new suppliers that can add value to our supply chain and help reduce our environmental impact. We identified UK aggregator KiWi Power as a business that was well placed to support us.

After initial meetings, the aggregator visited our Elton site and carried out a detailed feasibility study to see how our production facility could deliver DSR without impacting on our business processes.

Our main concern was that there would be no disruption to our glass production process – whatsoever. By collaborating closely with KiWi Power, we were able to make sure we selected a programme that suited our assets and production processes.

We’re on a constant search to reduce our impact by finding new ways to recycle, minimise and reduce our energy consumption.

The programme we chose was Firm Frequency Response (FFR). It’s a service that helps National Grid control system frequency around Great Britain in real time by balancing electricity demand with generation. The business calls on us to respond at times when there’s a shortfall in generation or a sudden increase in demand.

When that happens, we are required to turn down the power demand on our assets within 10 seconds – and sustain that for 30 minutes. At the end of the process, the assets are restarted automatically.

A greener, more cost-effective grid

By reducing our load in this way, we play our small part in reducing the need for back-up power stations to fire up. So we’re able to contribute to creating a greener, more cost-effective grid.

Getting our business ready to deliver DSR was really straightforward. The aggregator came to site to install a control panel that would allow them to monitor our data remotely. This was easy to integrate and works alongside our existing systems.

Any signal to power down is received through this control panel, which automatically sets the assets to a pre-determined response level. For peace of mind, and to fully protect our processes, if we need to manually override the signal we can.

Effortless to integrate and manage

The control mechanisms behind the DSR systems – and how our assets react to response events – have proven easy to integrate and manage. There is also total transparency in the metering and monitoring that the aggregator does. This allows us to analyse performance and ensure that participating in the programme is consistently the right choice for our business and its production processes.

Since the contract began, we’ve seen a number of benefits and we’ve confidence that our infrastructure is operationally sound.

But for us, the best benefit is being able to assist in the operation of a decentralised energy grid. It’s exciting to play an active part in supporting the changing electricity system and become part of a more diverse, robust and decarbonised system.

Power Responsive Conference 2017

26 Jul 2017

The third Power Responsive Conference took take place on 27th June 2017 at the Emirates Stadium, London. We’d like to extend our thanks to all speakers, exhibitors, and attendees from the day.  Please use the links below to view our summary note, and presenter slides from the day.

DSR: The next chapter of energy efficiency

30 Jun 2017

Many businesses have successfully cut costs in recent years through a focus on reducing electricity consumption. Robert Owens, Vice President of Asset Optimisation, explains the raft of new opportunities emerging […]

How AI is shaping the future of energy

19 Jun 2017

Michael Bironneau, Technical Director of Open Energi explains how artificial intelligence can be used to provide demand side flexibility more efficiently.  Technology is changing the way we live. By 2020 […]

Steering Group Meeting – 26th April 2017

08 Jun 2017

Power Responsive’s Steering Group met on 26th April 2017 where discussions focused on value stacking demand side flexibility from different GB markets, and current customer views on participating in flexibility.  The meeting summary and associated ‘snapshots’ are available to download on the links below.

Power Responsive – Flexibility Investor Event

25 Apr 2017

The Power Responsive Flexibility Investor event took place on 10th May at Altitude 360 in London. Presentations from industry experts, Ofgem, and National Grid provided guests with insight into the latest industry activity with a view to addressing myths that surround energy flexibility. Please see our event summary where presentation slides can also be downloaded.

Working Groups – March 2017

11 Apr 2017

The Power Responsive Storage Working Group and DSR Provider Group took place on 13th and 21st March respectively.  Please find the combined summary note from both working groups below.  If you wish to be invited to either (or both) future working groups please contact powerresponsive@nationalgrid.com.

Battery energy storage brings benefits

05 Apr 2017

Camborne Energy Storage Ltd. (CES) is on a mission to deliver secure, low carbon power to the UK. The company’s Managing Director, Dan Taylor, explains how they’re helping to balance electricity supply and demand by deploying battery energy storage systems.

 We have worked with several partners to successfully deliver a 500kWh battery storage project. The Tesla Powerpack installation – which is co-located with a solar PV plant in Somerset – has the capacity to provide power for over 500 homes.

Poweri were responsible for connecting the system to Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution’s 11kV network and demand-side aggregator, Open Energi, are managing its day-to-day operation to optimise performance and maximise value.

Unlocking value from battery storage

The system is making money in two ways: time of use discharging, which involves storing electricity generated during periods of low demand and releasing it when demand peaks, and Firm Frequency Response (FFR), which involves the battery automatically charging and discharging to help balance electricity supply and demand second-by-second.

 This kind of smart flexibility is vital to support greater levels of renewable generation.

The system benefited from the solar PV plant’s existing export capacity but additional grid import was needed so that the system could still participate in FFR when the solar PV plant was not generating power.

A smart control strategy

Open Energi have worked closely with us to seamlessly integrate their Dynamic Demand software with the Tesla Powerpack. After a period of testing, Open Energi have applied machine learning and designed state of charge management techniques to deliver a control strategy which understands and responds to fluctuations in solar PV generation and electricity supply and demand to maximise revenues and minimise wear and tear.

This kind of smart flexibility is vital to support greater levels of renewable generation and the success of this project demonstrates the role of energy storage in delivering secure, low carbon power to the UK.

We have ambitious deployment targets with around 50MW of consented sites ready for construction. We aim to deploy further energy storage as stand-alone grid-connected assets, co-located with renewable generation and also as behind-the-meter solutions to major energy users throughout the UK to help make our electricity system fit for the future.

Trade Association Roundtable

08 Mar 2017

Power Responsive held a roundtable discussion with Trade Associations from a variety of energy related sectors. Discussion focused on how Power Responsive can work more closely with the energy market and business customer Trade Associations, and how the 2016 Power Responsive Annual Report can be developed further to encompass a wider set of metrics. Please view our summary note and provide any feedback to powerresponsive@nationalgrid.com