Ørsted and Open Energi team up to unlock flex at Aggregate Industries


A demand-side response collaboration between Open Energi and Ørsted is unlocking diversified revenues for Aggregate Industries – and asset optimisation is predicted to cut power bills 10%.

The Lafarge-owned firm has been participating in demand-side response schemes for more than a decade, and since 2012 has been using its bitumen tanks as sources of flexibility.

In recent months, aggregator Open Energi has been rolling the tanks onto its upgraded flexibility platform. It has been stacking both frequency response revenues and taking calls for Ørsted’s Renewable Balancing Reserve (RBR) product, where it pays companies to help balance its market position. Companies set a strike price for their flexibility, and if it’s cheaper than paying imbalance penalties, Ørsted calls the firm to respond and pays that rate.

It is anticipated these kind of blended services will become increasingly valuable as imbalance penalties become more expensive while FFR prices continue to erode, due to increased competition.

Some 30 bitumen tanks across eight of Aggregate Industries’ sites have already been connected to the Dynamic Demand 2.0 platform, which Open Energi claims uses artificial intelligence to optimise them in real time. The aggregator says results so far suggest Aggregate Industries will shave 10% off its annual power bill.

“Growing renewable generation levels have increased volatility in the imbalance market,” said Open Energi’s David Hill, explaining the benefit of stacking both frequency response and RBR revenues.

“Prices can spike very rapidly when there is a shortfall in supply and this has created valuable arbitrage opportunities for businesses who are able to quickly reduce their demand for short periods.”

Aggregate Industries energy manager, Richard Eaton, said the “collaborative partnership” enables the firm to keep up with evolving flexibility markets.

The platform “means we can cut costs and respond to emerging market opportunities, while providing the clean, low-cost flexibility needed to power a sustainable energy future. That’s good news for our business, our customers and the environment”, he said.

See a full interview with Richard Eaton in the forthcoming print issue of The Energyst.

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