Demand response aggregator Flexitricity will pay firms to use more power when there is excess wind generation on the system. The company today announced it has signed a draft service agreement with National Grid for its new Demand Turn Up service.
The Footroom service will go some way towards limiting constraint payments to wind farm operators. Currently, National Grid pays millions of pounds a year to stop them exporting to the grid and overloading it.
Along with Enhanced Frequency Response, a superfast balancing service, Demand-Turn Up is National Grid’s newest demand-side response mechanism. It wants companies to use more power in return for payment to help balance the power system, which is rapidly changing in the face of intermittent renewable power, much of which is embedded on the distribution network.
Flexitricity founder and strategy chief, Dr Alastair Martin, said such services could help UK businesses – some of which feel they are at a disadvantage to European competitors due to energy policy costs – regain the initiative.
Get paid to use power
“Footroom, or demand turn-up, offers tremendous potential to the UK – not only does it put the country at the very forefront of developing and implementing the Grid of tomorrow, but it opens up a world of possibilities for business and for renewables developers,” he said.
“Currently, when the wind is at its strongest, the Grid turns large power stations down or off. But it can’t turn down all of them, so sometimes it has to turn off some of the wind farms. This wastes a free resource.
“With Footroom, businesses can boost productivity for minimal extra cost and are incentivised to do so. In turn, the Grid can increase the amount of electricity distributed to homes from clean, renewable energy sources.”
The service works by sending a signal to connected businesses, notifying them of an approaching increase in wind and the opportunity to increase demand. Those who do respond receive a payment in addition to the extra electricity.
“This will have a huge impact across the whole of the UK – and could give businesses connected to the system a competitive edge over European competitors,” said Martin. “Being an early adopter of Footroom will pay dividends not just now, but for years to come.”
The rise of DSR
The announcement comes 48 hours after Dong Energy launched a similar service – and as the demand-side response (DSR) industry ramps up activity. National Grid procured some 475MW of new, untested demand response last month.
Last summer the system operator outlined plans to increasingly use demand-side response services to balance the power system. By 2020, it aims to use DSR for between 30% and 50% of balancing activity.
Meanwhile, local grid operators are also trialling smart grid system operator models in a bid to resolve conflicts between national and local grid balancing – and the perverse signals that can occur between national and regional systems.
Free download: Demand side response report 2015
National Grid must simplify demand response to scale UK market
40% of firms say they could shift energy use as National Grid asks them to turn up
Dong enters demand-side response market with wind power balancing service
National Grid buys 475MW of demand response to cover winter
2016: the year half hourly settlement will hit your power bill
Government to consult on demand response in spring
Energy Technologies Institute: Let private firms run smartgrid trials
MPs told UK needs energy system architect and must commercialise smartgrid
Flexitricity blasts transitional capacity market as Npower plots supermarket sweep
Grid buys 3.6GW of back up power to prevent blackouts
Flexitricity warns demand response cannot be rushed as winter looms
National Infrastructure Commission to focus on energy storage and demand response
Tempus: A five year old can see capacity market is anticompetitive
Smart grids ‘require local control and businesses must play or pay’
National Grid plots superfast grid balancing service
Many major energy users can’t be flexible, says manufacturing chief
National Grid moots demand side response rule changes as winter power margins tighten
Keep calm and scale demand response, says Scots energy inquiry
National Grid flags demand response changes, urges suppliers and TPIs to deliver
National Grid must simplify demand response to bring in UK businesses
Ofgem boss flags rule changes to speed demand response
National Grid launches major demand side push
Demand response: Suppliers and aggregators ignoring 80% of UK firms
UK firms with CHP plant could be paid to stop exporting power
National Grid: No margin? No sweat
Lord Redesdale ‘puts money on brownouts or blackouts by year end’
Utilitywise bets against Lord Redesdale on blackouts risk
Demand response provider teams with Honeywell, touts for new business
Click here to see if you qualify for a free subscription to the print magazine, or to renew.
Follow us at @EnergystMedia. For regular bulletins, sign up for the free newsletter.