How Flexitricity optimises revenue for Gateshead Council’s district energy scheme


Gateshead council will earn £1m through demand-side responseIn this video case study, Flexitricity’s Business Development and Account Manager, Lisa Perrin, and Gateshead Council’s Energy Services Manager, Jim Gillon, discuss revenue streams and community benefits created from demand side response, balancing the UK electricity network, and current challenges faced within the industry.

The award-winning Gateshead District Energy Scheme is a low carbon energy centre operated by Gateshead Council which provides low cost heat and power to homes, organisations and businesses in the urban core of Gateshead.

Flexitricity optimises demand side response revenue for the Scheme from its 24/7 control room in Edinburgh. It is connected to Gateshead’s Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engines via a remote outstation allowing Flexitricity to automatically stop and start the engines when it receives a signal from National Grid.

Demand side response not only allows businesses and the public sector to avoid higher energy prices during times of peak demand, it also creates revenue for those organisations when they support the grid. The additional revenue can be invested back into the business to support growth and transform outcomes for users and customers.

Gateshead Energy Company was Flexitricity’s first electricity supply customer and the first behind-the-metre generation asset to enter into the Balancing Mechanism.

Jim Gillon, Energy Services Manager at Gateshead Council, said: “As a publicly owned, local heat and power generator, Gateshead Energy Company (GEC) needs to continually look for ways improve its income base in order to support a low-cost energy offer to local customers. Flexitricity has already helped us do that since 2017, with access to the Capacity Market and reserve power markets.

“When we went to the market to seek a new electricity supplier that could also help us access the Balancing Mechanism, Flextricity’s proposal was clearly the best value solution for GEC, so, we are very pleased to have been able to broaden our relationship and to build on the excellent service we have received from Flexitricity to date.”

Gateshead District Energy Scheme incorporates elements that go beyond the traditional heat network, including a private wire network to supply high voltage electricity to customers, on-site heat storage and electricity storage via a large battery. It is the full integration of heat and power generation, and heat and power storage which sets the scheme apart from others.

As a public body one of the most important objectives for Gateshead Council is to deliver schemes that provide benefits to the consumers within the local community whether that’s cost, carbon or environmental. When additional revenues streams can be unlocked it allows more energy schemes to become commercially viable in the future which is both good for business and good for the wider community.

Want to find out more? Watch the video below:

Related stories:

Flexitricity signs Gateshead as first energy supply customer

Gateshead Energy: Northern heat and powerhouse

Centrica to use Gateshead’s 3MW battery for local and national balancing services

Gateshead signs £1m demand response contract with Flexitricity

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