Keeping their cool

Demand side solutions can help balance the electricity network. By knowing when to increase, decrease or shift their electricity usage, businesses can earn revenue, save on total energy costs and reduce their carbon footprints. Stuart Lloyd, Chief Engineer of Norish, a cold storage and logistics company, explains how it works for them.

Norish is a major energy user because of the nature of our business, especially where it includes temperature controls. We do everything possible to manage our energy use, both for cost reasons as well as environmental ones.

We operate eight storage and distribution centres across England and Wales providing over 75,000 racked pallet spaces of which 60,000 are temperature controlled. Our annual electricity consumption is 21GWh so anything we can do to reduce that is welcome.

Flexitricity manages the demand-response relationship with National Grid on our behalf and provides National Grid with Short-Term Operating Reserve (STOR), an important source of reserve electricity.

Four out of our eight sites are connected to Flexitricity’s smart grid. When there is sudden high demand for electricity, or if a major power station fails, we can help National Grid by reducing plant loading for certain periods.

Hardware installed by Flexitricity automatically turns down our cooling plant for short periods to reduce the stress on the network, and because this automated load management is carried out for short periods and within pre-agreed parameters, it does not affect our product temperatures or freezing cycles at all.

 

When there is sudden high demand for electricity, or if a major power station fails, we can help National Grid by reducing plant loading for certain periods.

 

By companies like ours making this extra capacity available, it reduces the need for power stations to be kept on ‘hot standby’ or running inefficiently at part-load as emergency back-up. Indeed, Flextricity’s figures show that their STOR can reduce emissions by between 300 to 750 tonnes of CO2 per megawatt per annum.

Working with National Grid and Flexitricity to help provide extra capacity when it’s needed has been a great success for Norish. It’s led to us lowering our energy consumption and our carbon footprint and allowed us to earn extra revenue, all without disrupting our normal business operations.