Posted: 14 April 2015
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Fast and flexible

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.

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Fast and flexible

Fast and flexible

Flexitricity has provided reserve energy to National Grid since 2008, extending this service provision to the Demand Side Balancing Reserve (DSBR), piloted over the winter months of 2014 and 2015.

"Flexitricity has used DSBR to prove out some new types of flexible capacity and offer demand response to sites who otherwise cannot participate."

Dr Alastair Martin, Chief Strategy Officer at Flexitricity.

Insight:

Firms signing up for the DSBR service will reduce their power demand or switch to their own generators between 4pm and 8pm on weekday evenings between November and February.

Source: National Grid.

Flexitricity can be described as a ‘virtual power station’ as it provides reserve energy to the National Grid by harnessing the flexibility available from industrial and commercial partners.

 

The company has provided reserve energy to National Grid since 2008, extending this service provision to National Grid’s innovative emergency back-up scheme known as the Demand Side Balancing Reserve (DSBR), piloted over the winter months of 2014 and 2015.

The beauty of having Flexitricity as part of the scheme is that the company gives sites with smaller flexible capacity the chance to be involved in DSBR. Flexitricity is known as an ‘aggregator’, taking the reduced capacity contributions of a number of smaller businesses, and offering the reductions to National Grid in a large, useable way.

Click for full size image.

Click for full size image.

For example, when requested to support National Grid, a supermarket linked to Flexitricity’s ‘smart grid’ would turn off its non-essential air-conditioning for a short period of time, at the same time a factory in another town could delay a non-critical process to save power, and a call centre could switch to its standby generator for a couple of hours. By themselves they might not be able to sign up to the DSBR scheme – but through Flexitricity they can be a part of the bigger picture.

And because Flexitricity’s smart grid communicates directly via a secure internet connection with the electricity generating and consuming equipment on clients’ sites, the whole operation is quick, simple and painless.

Dr Alastair Martin, Chief Strategy Officer at Flexitricity, said:DSBR works for the types of electricity load which don’t fit very well into more established demand response programmes such as Short Term Operating Reserve. Flexitricity has used DSBR to prove out some new types of flexible capacity and offer demand response to sites who otherwise cannot participate.

“We’ve managed to show that these sites have the ability to benefit from longer-term mechanisms such as the government’s new Capacity Market. This means that a new category of flexible electricity consumer can help keep the lights on, earn revenue, and reduce electricity bills.”

Read more:

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