Companies across the UK are switching on to the innovative Demand Side Balancing Reserve (DSBR) service, which will see National Grid pay companies to use less energy at peak times. If called upon, firms signing up for the scheme will reduce their power demand or switch to their own generators between 4pm and 8pm on weekday evenings between November and February.
Anglian Water was one of 12 companies that took part in a pilot over the winter. Although the DSBR was never used, National Grid was able to thoroughly test how the system would work if it was ever needed.
Ed Knox, Energy Supply and Demand Specialist at Anglian, said: “We are able to call upon back up generators at 80 of our operational sites across the Anglian region. We control them remotely through our telemetry system. This means we can easily switch to the generators at the sites should we get a DSBR call.”
Wide spread coverage
Anglian Water, which has its headquarters in Huntington and employs around 4,000 people, supplies water to homes and business across a huge area taking in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Suffolk.
It also provides drainage and sewerage services to a wider area stretching from the Humber in the north to the River Thames in the south, taking in an area that covers the River Great Ouse and a small part of Greater London around Upminster.
Ed went on: “If we needed to swing into action to answer a DSBR call, each generator would first satisfy the power demand of the site, with any excess power exported onto the grid. This set-up enables Anglian Water to respond to DSBR events without having any impact on the processes at its water and water recycling sites.”
The DSBR project comes in response to tighter energy margins at peak times due to the mothballing of old coal and oil power stations and gas generators. National Grid is now looking for more companies – particularly those using large amounts of energy – to come on board and get involved with the scheme which kicks in again at the end of the year.
Reliable and secure
Ed said Anglian Water had no hesitation in getting involved with the scheme, and would thoroughly recommend it to others. “A reliable and secure source of electricity is vital to Anglian Water,” he said.
“So we are delighted to collaborate with National Grid in this new and innovative way of helping to achieve this. Participating in DSBR fits in well with how we operate. It enables our business to be more efficient and allows us to keep bills as low as possible for our customers.”