Flexing your site’s energy muscle

Smart technology deployed to monitor the energy consumption of industrial buildings and facilities is enabling ScottishPower customers to earn additional revenue. Head of Energy Services UK, Malcolm Paterson, explores why […]

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By george marshall

Smart technology deployed to monitor the energy consumption of industrial buildings and facilities is enabling ScottishPower customers to earn additional revenue. Head of Energy Services UK, Malcolm Paterson, explores why being flexible with your energy consumption can make good business sense. 

Winter is coming which means a prolonged period in the demand for energy to keep lights switched on, and offices warm during the cold snap. This shift in demand puts increased pressure on the energy network at what is traditionally a time when industrial and commercial customers pay more for their supply during peak times between November and February.

But managing the load and volume of power supply in the network isn’t simply confined to when the mercury drops. Delivering quality energy to homes, businesses and large-scale operations requires the supply and demand to be balanced at all times and maintaining this balance is a second to second, all-year round operation for the National Grid and suppliers like ourselves to manage.

The industry can manage demand through Demand Side Response (DSR) to mitigate the impact of these events, and this presents a financial opportunity for customers with a large industrial and commercial footprint who have the potential to flex their demand.

Maintaining the balance on the grid can require services that last anywhere between seconds and hours.  If a customer has the ability to be flexible, ScottishPower can monetise this capability and DSR is quickly proving itself to be a lower cost provider of these services than traditional power stations.

Taking a customer-first approach to DSR

Every industrial and commercial operations facility has a different energy profile, and it’s important to establish a clear understanding of the resilience and energy risks involved at the site from the very start to minimise risk whilst maximising value.

ScottishPower is committed to working in partnership with industrial and commercial customers to complete a comprehensive site assessment which will take into account high consuming energy assets onsite to identify flexible capacity.  This flexibility is the key feature which our expertise can monetise for customers, however we firstly have to work in close collaboration to understand their needs and ensure that there will be no unwanted interference with their core objective of running the business.

Once a plan is agreed the appropriate systems and communications are installed to monitor and control the site’s energy assets remotely via a series of smart devices. This allows us to manage this flexibility alongside our own assets, using the same systems, processes and trading opportunities that are utilised to manage ScottishPower’s generation fleet.   We have always managed the dispatch of assets to obtain best value in the market or to fulfil ancillary services for National Grid, and with DSR we are doing it for our customers too.

A smarter way to earn revenue

Implementing a DSR management strategy onsite will deliver a recurring revenue stream with little or no additional effort from the customer. While productivity onsite continues unaffected the amount of energy and timing of its consumption are factors that can be monetised by ScottishPower trading experts, and aggregated over time, provision of these services will help improve a customer’s bottom line.

A DSR approach also goes hand in hand with energy efficiency best practice, improving a site’s green credentials and asset management, enhancing the customer’s understanding and data in relation to their key operational plant.  .

For further information on services available to commercial energy customers, please visit: www.scottishpower.co.uk/commercial-business

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