How smart charging can help unlock flexible capacity from EVs

12 Dec 2017

Dagoberto Cedillos, Strategy & Innovation Lead at Open Energi explores how smart charging can help unlock flexible capacity from Electric Vehicles. Electric Vehicles (EVs) have taken off in 2017 with […]

Power Responsive Flexibility Forum

05 Dec 2017

The next Power Responsive Flexibility Forum will take place on Thursday 11th January 2017, in London.

The agenda includes updates from BEIS, Ofgem, & National Grid, touching upon:

  • Product Simplification Road Map  –  this will be the first opportunity to hear directly what this means for flexibility providers.
  • System Planning Opportunities – National Grid’s Network Options Assessment team explore with stakeholders how System Planning could provide a new opportunity for demand side flexibility.
  • Updates from BEIS and Ofgem from the Smart Systems Forum, and Charging Futures Forum
  • Recent balancing services procurement and the Power Responsive Annual Report.
  • Surgeries/drop-ins throughout the day will allow you to speak to experts from: the Capacity Market team, Power Potential Project, and Balancing Services Account Managers.

Please use the links below to view the full agenda, and to register your place.

Demand response turns liquid assets into real revenue for Bournemouth Water

29 Nov 2017

With many utility companies already seeing Demand Side Response (DSR) work for them, it was an easy decision for Bournemouth Water to get involved. Energy Adviser, Matthew Burton shares his story.

 At Bournemouth Water, it’s our responsibility to keep the taps on for half a million households and businesses across Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire. Each day, we supply 140 million litres of drinking water to our customers.

We have a significant number of sites, most of them running energy-intensive assets such as water pumps, as well as back-up generation. With a corporate commitment to deliver operational excellence, we regularly review our energy use and costs to make sure we are optimising what we do.

It was through this process of continual improvement that we began to explore the opportunities that existed through demand side flexibility.

With many water companies (such as Wessex Water and United Utilities) already seeing the benefits from using their energy in a smarter way, we decided to reach out to one of the UK’s DSR aggregators, KiWi Power, to see how our assets could be best put to work.

Carefully tailored solutions

The company was keen to find the right solution for each of our sites, so it sent down its engineers to investigate. They got to work analysing half-hourly data relating to each site’s energy use and conducted full onsite surveys to see which assets could deliver demand side services. With this information, the company created specially tailored solutions for each site.

The next step was to get the right technology in place, so we could begin to participate. This was done at zero cost to us and with very little disruption. KiWi Power installed its own, in-house developed, second-by-second meters at each of our sites, which would work with our existing high-voltage metering systems.

A wide range of DSR programmes

Bournemouth Water has implemented the flexibility of demand side response while keeping full control of operating its systems within set internal parameters.

Using the new meters, the aggregator remotely monitors and sends signals to our site controllers and Programmable Logic Controller units (PLCs) so we can make an automated decision to use the full range of our demand side assets. It can also send visual signals to our shift workers on site should they need to start local diesel generators or stop scheduled pumping.

Bournemouth Water has implemented the flexibility of demand side response while keeping full control of operating its systems within set internal parameters.

This almost-instant flexibility allows us to take part in a wide range of programmes, namely Frequency Control by Demand Management (FCDM), Static Firm Frequency Response (FFR), Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) and TRIAD avoidance (half hourly settlement periods).

One of the biggest benefits has been the fact that providing DSR doesn’t interfere with the day-to-day running of our sites. This is particularly important because of the critical nature of some of our equipment, particularly our water pumps. If a reservoir is full, for example, it wouldn’t be safe or practical for water pumps to be powered down, or switched off.

Working closely with our aggregator, we were able to build a vital layer of defence behind the DSR controls. Should a signal arrive during a critical time, the system automatically overrides it, putting the business and our customers first.

Feeling the full flow of benefits

Since we began providing DSR, our business has earned regular revenue across the full portfolio of DSR products. Another benefit has been the improved resilience of our generators. Regular testing under our DSR contract means we have total peace of mind that our generators will be fit for purpose during a power cut.

Participating in DSR has proven a good decision. It has provided us with a mechanism to optimise our pump scheduling, put our standby generation assets to good use and earn extra revenue for our business.

E.ON goes live with first EFR battery project

12 Nov 2017

A battery storage project developed by E.ON has become the first in Great Britain to provide Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) services to the grid. Plant Manager Luke Ellis explains how the 10MW installation near Sheffield came to life.

When we pushed the button to begin operations at our new battery project at Blackburn Meadows it was an exciting moment for all the team. E.ON has been investing in battery storage systems around the world for a number of years and the EFR process offered us the chance to deploy this emerging technology in a new way.

It’s fitting in a way that Blackburn Meadows has seen such a technological breakthrough. This was a brownfield site when E.ON took it over. It had been home to a coal-fired plant from the early 1900s until its closure in the 1980s.

Now we have a ground-breaking battery project running alongside our biomass plant that turns recycled waste wood into low-carbon electricity. It produces enough power for 40,000 homes. The facility also provides district heating to customers in the local area, including Sheffield Forgemasters and Sheffield Arena.

Battery first

We are at the forefront of keeping the nation’s electricity grid stable using battery storage. One challenge is making sure that frequency stays within strict limits.

The battery system works by discharging power to the network when frequency falls or withdrawing power if supply is greater than demand. The speed of response is the big step forward. All this happens in just a fraction of a second.

The battery is housed inside four 40-ft shipping containers. It’s made up of more than 1,000 lithium-ion batteries divided into racks. The battery holds the same amount of energy as 500,000 mobile phone batteries. It operates around the clock and is constantly making tiny adjustments that help to balance the grid.

One of the big pluses for us was the ability to integrate the battery’s control system with our biomass power plant. It means that our operators can monitor both 24/7.

Journey to switch-on

E.ON took part in the EFR auction run by National Grid in autumn 2016 and we were named as one of the successful bids. Under the contract, we’ll be providing EFR services to the grid for the next four years.

The battery system works by discharging power to the network when frequency falls or withdrawing power if supply is greater than demand. The speed of response is the big step forward. All this happens in just a fraction of a second.

It’s fantastic that we’re the first project to go live. We’d already done a lot of detailed work to be ready to go. In fact, when the auction took place, we were only a couple of weeks away from signing contracts to start construction.

The process from design through to commissioning took about a year. One of the biggest challenges we faced was dealing with a technology that was new to all of us. It was important to build a good relationship with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO).

The DNO needed to be sure that our planned operation wouldn’t have any negative effects on the local network. We worked closely with our supplier Nidec to provide this reassurance. Nidec also carried out modelling work on our behalf to understand how the project would integrate with the wider grid.

E.ON’s renewable goals

The Blackburn Meadows project shows that battery solutions have enormous potential in the UK. It certainly fits with E.ON’s aims of helping our customers access new renewable solutions such as solar and storage technologies. There will undoubtedly be more opportunities for batteries as the technology matures.

As for the future, we’re taking a keen interest in National Grid’s System Needs and Product Strategy to see what opportunities lie ahead. Having the right regulatory environment is also important. Several consultations involving Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are under way on the road ahead for storage.

In the meantime, we’re all very proud of what’s been achieved at Blackburn Meadows. It’s great to see the project come to fruition.

Steering Group Meeting – 11th October 2017

31 Oct 2017

The second Steering Group meeting for year 3 of Power Responsive took place on 11th October 2017 with discussions focusing on ‘the whole system benefit’, including:

  • What is meant by ‘whole system’?
  • How industry work streams are tackling ‘whole system’.
  • National Grid’s Product Roadmap and ENA Commercial Principles paper.
  • Customer views on ‘whole system’ approach

The meeting summary is available to download from the following link.

Ofgem – Regulatory Sandbox

03 Oct 2017

Ofgem have launched the second window of the regulatory sandbox, which will be open for expressions of interest until 27 October 2017.

The regulatory sandbox allows innovators to trial innovative business products, services and business models that cannot currently operate under the existing regulations. Trials run for a set period of time with a limited number of customers.

Ofgem want to support innovative ideas that bring benefits to consumers. This also helps them to understand emerging trends in the sector and identify areas in which regulation may need to adapt to sustain innovation.

Find out more through their blog, and how to submit an expression of interest through the links below.

Power Responsive Flexibility Forum

29 Aug 2017

The Power Responsive Flexibility Forum took place on 27th September 2017, in London. The forum is an amalgamation of the DSR Provider Group and Storage Working Group.

The agenda included updates from BEIS, Ofgem, & National Grid, touching upon:

  • The latest from the BEIS/Ofgem Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan.
  • National Grid’s Product Simplification consultation and the next steps to be taken.
  • An overview of the ENA’s Commercial Principles Paper for contracted Flexibility and debate around the proposed models for a Smart Energy Grid.
  • Overview of ongoing modifications on wider access to Balancing Mechanism for Flexibility.

Our summary note and speaker presentation slides can be downloaded from the links below.

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.