UK Power Networks, which manages the electricity network in London and the south east of England, has signed up local businesses to cut electricity use at times of peak demand.
The ExCel conference centre in London’s Docklands, along with a major department store and tourist attraction in the capital, have signed up through aggregator partners Flexitricity, EDF Energy and EnerNOC.
The agreements commit the organisations to reducing their electricity usage by a pre-defined number of megawatts at times of peak demand or when the system is under strain in return for payments.
Systems will be installed in the participants’ premises that reduce demand or automatically start up back-up generation or increase the output from combined cooling and heating power equipment.
The organizations taking part can alternatively retain control of their systems and opt out at any time, to ensure that their business is not adversely affected by the arrangement.
The demand and response trial is part of the Low Carbon London programme, funded by energy regulator Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund, which aims to research ways in which carbon emissions and electricity distribution costs in London can be reduced.
“The trials will establish the amount of business interest in innovative responsive demand contracts,” explains Liam O’Sullivan, director of the Low Carbon London programme. “Crucially, this will never compromise security of supply, as each business will retain full control over how they defer or reduce their electricity consumption for short periods in response to requests from our system.”
UK Power Networks adds that the demand response trial will also signal whether businesses are flexible enough with their electricity requirements to cope with intermittent wind generation.
In a similar vein, UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s recently signed up with demand management company KiWi Power to reduce energy consumption at peak times in return for payment from National Grid.
National Grid has already established demand and response as a way of balancing the national transmission network, but this will be UK Power Networks first foray into using the strategy at on a more local electricity distribution network.
For further information:
Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s to generate revenue by using less energy (12-Sept)
Balancing future supply and demand will be challenging, says National Grid (14-Jun 2011)
npower launches UK demand response service (13-Jan 2011)
16 October 2012