Cold store facility Oxford Cold Storage (recently taken over by Lineage AUS TRS Pty Ltd), employs more than 400 people and operates the largest temperature controlled third-party logistics warehouse in Australia.
Its 26-hectare site in Laverton North, Victoria, has 13 buildings with a total capacity of 1,040,000m³ where 165,000 pallets of meat, dairy and food products are stored at temperatures from 18⁰C to -25⁰C.
The company had undertaken substantial energy efficiency improvements over the past eight years, allowing it to double its cold storage capacity while keeping its total electricity use at 37 GWh per annum.
Despite these efforts, in 2018, Oxford Cold Storage's annual cost of electricity rose 215% to over $6.4 million. With straightforward energy efficiency opportunities exhausted, the company began exploring how to participate in demand response programs with the support of a partner aggregator.
The cold store facility now participates in two demand response programs with Enel X as part of its virtual power plant (VPP). One facilitates reductions in electricity demand by up to 3,250kW for short periods – usually no longer than four minutes. This helps the market operator maintain the frequency in the National Electricity Market (NEM), with large energy users’ electricity loads automatically stopping and starting when required.
The second demand response program is activated during periods of unusually high demand. For example, during heatwaves when air conditioner loads are very high, the facility can reduce its demand by 3,250kW for up to two hours, with no impact on business operations or quality.
Since volunteering to provide these services, the payments have offset 10% of the company’s rise in electricity costs.
Learn more about the benefits of participation in this ABC 7:30 Report article on cutting power bills with demand response.