Embedded generation and demand side response (DSR) should be on your radar if your business is thinking about generating its own electricity and possibly selling some to the grid.
Embedded generation is the production of electricity from technologies, including renewables like solar, wind and biomass or non-renewables, that are directly connected to the distribution network.
DSR allows generators to take financial advantage of more flexible electricity use, especially when prices are high.
The Estates department of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust earned around £200,000 from power generation last year and reduced its spending via improved energy management following a partnership with electricity supplier Haven Power and demand response aggregator KiWi Power.
Income and investment equation
Through collaboration with your own energy partners, you need to work out whether the potential income from taking part in such programmes will outweigh the capital investment and continuing equipment costs. If the balance is in your favour, you’ll then need to decide how to manage the energy you generate:
1) Join the government’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme that promotes small-scale renewable or low carbon technologies and receive payments for your power. FiT licensees like Haven Power pay generators for the electricity they produce (including the power they use themselves), at rates in line with inflation.
2) Get paid via a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) with a supplier such as Haven Power, at either an agreed or a variable rate per unit. This option lets you enjoy a variety of savings related to Use of System charges including Generator Distribution (GDUoS) and Balancing Services (BSUoS).
3) Retain the option to export via a range of demand response programmes, while deciding not to do so straight away. If you can balance your costs against the income generated by supplying back-up energy to National Grid, this is a viable option.
The Estates department of the hospital currently uses PPAs with Haven Power plus various DSR services from KiWi Power to maximise its savings and income.
Value of partnership
When the Estates department tendered the Trust’s electricity contract, the team worked with Haven Power to discover extra value and flexibility in the standard terms. One result is the supplier now provides a daily triad report between November and February, with the option of within-day updates where necessary. These reports and updates help to inform the Estates department’s energy purchasing decisions, allowing it to minimise or avoid consumption in more expensive periods.
With KiWi Power’s assistance, the Estates department is able to make the most of the Trust’s five generation units spread across Colchester’s NHS sites. Using real-time metering hardware and a combination of existing and new control systems, the aggregator’s bespoke solution lets it control the generators remotely. KiWi Power also wirelessly collects the meter’s data reports and sends them to National Grid, while ensuring the Estates department knows whenever a demand response event occurs.
Forward thinking and innovative
Your organisation can simplify the complexities of DSR and embedded generation – and benefit from both – by working alongside your energy partners.
The Trust’s Estates department developed relationships with KiWi Power and Haven Power to maximise all available revenues and savings and benefit from other opportunities.
For more information about embedded generation and DSR, please get in touch with Haven Power, quoting reference HP253.
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