The Demand Response market is starting to take shape also in Italy. The dispatching services pilot project promoted by Terna, the network operator, has already seen Enel X win 56 MW of flexibility derived from industrial and commercial customers. And Enel X continues to confirm its role as the leading player on the energy innovation scene with its own flexibility services.
During the most recent programme concerning the provision of fixed-term resources and reserved for owners of virtual consumption units that qualify for the dispatching services market (UVACs - Aggregate Virtual Consumption Units), Terna made available a quantity of virtual resources of 500 MW for the period spanning 18 June to 30 September 2018). Enel X, which has been assigned 62 MW in total over the last two tenders, will thus, through its varied portfolio of contracted clients (UVACs), provide Terna with the capacity needed to meet the grid operator’s requirements, whenever there is a request from the latter.
Demand Response is literally what it says: a response to demand. The service allows commercial and industrial customers to respond to market signals, modulating their energy consumption with the aim of responding to peaks in electricity supply and demand. This creates greater grid flexibility and stability, and thus makes more efficient use of infrastructure and energy resources alike.
So how does it work exactly? Through Enel X and a specialist team that covers the entire value chain, customers receive real time balancing requests to stabilise the grid on the basis of their availability to implement the service. This scenario is driving the energy market towards a whole new era in energy dispatching. A paradigm revolution that already seems to have progressed light years compared to just a few months ago when only electricity generation systems were able to participate in the services market. Now however, there is also a role for distributed generation and demand.
Already a world leader in Demand Response through its US company, EnerNOC, Enel X is very much in the front line on the Italian market too. In fact, the latest 62 MW just assigned are the first to bear the name of the Enel Group’s new energy services and technologically advanced solutions unit. From today, Italian companies will also have the opportunity to contribute to the energy market from a perspective of conscious consumption and energy efficiency, by following the guidelines of the core concept of innovability: sustainability and innovation.
Another feature worth acknowledging is the orders management and plant control/monitoring process. It uses one of the most evolved smart platforms in the sector and can maximise the value of customer aggregates on the basis of their differing peculiarities and availability. Managing a portfolio comprising such diverse customers in terms of their size and sector is actually one of the key strengths of Enel X’s proposal.
Expectation is also building in Italy regarding the subsequent phases of the Terna pilot project which in the future will also involve aggregate virtual mixed units (UVAMs) which are characterised by the presence of non-relevant production units (including storage systems) and consumption units. This time Terna will have to submit to the Authority a trial project relating to the participation of Aggregate Virtual Mixed Units (UVAM) in the Dispatching Services Market, which takes into account the initial results from the implementation of the pilot projects (relating to UVAPs and UVACs respectively). The ultimate goal is, of course, to pursue the technological neutrality that the Authority envisages will allow access to and participation in the Dispatching Services Market (MSD).
Enel X’s range of smart solutions will always include a response best suited to satisfying the needs of the customer.