By enrolling in a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), Matthew’s Quarries is supporting the grid and in doing so, is accessing a new revenue stream, achieving cost savings, and putting downward pressure on electricity prices.
VPP participation gives access to Demand Response (DR) and other flexibility programs, which give energy users more control, power and visibility of their energy use.
Matthew's Quarries Managing Director, Robert Matthews, said, “We started participating in Enel X's VPP in November last year as a new pathway to make cost savings. We didn’t have to overcome any obstacles to participate."
"I chose to do it after a cost-benefit assessment, to develop new revenue. After the summer period, we were paid for our participation, which was straightforward. We simply power down our equipment in response to a grid need, and earn revenue for it, it’s great,” Matthews said.
At Enel X, we are the world's largest independent aggregator of commercial and industrial business’ energy load. Our VPP is the biggest in Australia (BNEF, 2019), and globally we have 6.3 GW of flexible energy load under management.
Andrew Sutherland, consultant from Enel X said, “We see a lot of untapped opportunity for mining and quarrying organisations in this area. VPP participation gives businesses the ability to strategically adjust when they use power from the electricity grid. Not only does this support the grid in times of need, it reduces the cost of energy for businesses and consumers.”
“Organisations can earn upwards of $20,000 into the hundreds of thousands per year for participating, depending on the size of the business and its energy consumption. This service helps to prevent blackouts and also supports Australia’s transition to renewable energy,” he said.
Most large-scale companies have inherent power flexibility, which can be harnessed by making temporary adjustments to electricity use, or by switching from grid power to a backup generator or battery storage unit, with little to no impact on operations.
Events are triggered by a grid need when there’s not enough supply to meet demand, or a price signal, for example, when the price per MWh jumps above $300. That trigger is then activated by automated controls or manually by Enel X’s network operations centre.
We have unrivalled market access, and there are a growing range of programs on offer, each with unique technical requirements and different financial value. Businesses aren’t limited to just one program – we help to maximise the value of participation by optimising flexibility assets across several programs.
The hospital is using a new approach to conduct backup generator testing with VPP participation, where it tests its redundancy systems under true emergency conditions, and earns new revenue for supporting the grid.
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