Did you know Enel X takes part in more than 50 programs globally, helping companies adjust their energy use depending on the needs of the grid while minimising disruption and saving money?
Published on Monday, 11 May 2020
In many parts of the world, grid operators reward customers who can be flexible in their energy use, sealing back their demands when the grid is under stress. Nations where Enel X helps clients access these programs include the US and the UK, Japan, Poland, Chile and many others.
The value of the approach was demonstrated during the recent fires in Australia. The flexibility it offers helped the grid operator keep the lights on in the country even as the blazes took parts of the system offline.
These arrangements, tailored to meet each client’s needs, come under the heading of Demand Response and are open to a whole range of industries able to offer some flexibility in energy use. Enel X, with its global footprint, market-leading technology and expertise to match, is a world leader in Demand Response.
Broadly speaking, there are three types of program available.
A capacity program pays participants who commit to cutting demand by a pre-set amount when asked to do so. This may mean turning off equipment, switching on local generating capacity or tapping into energy storage systems. Payments are also available for clients agreeing to reduce demand in an emergency.
Ancillary service programs are designed to give a much quicker response to help head off sudden grid reliability problems. These arrangements include reserve programs and so-called frequency response programs. The former type activates when a spike in demand threatens to cause a grid imbalance. In frequency response programs, participating sites install hardware that recognizes when the grid’s frequency falls below a pre-set threshold and which automatically cuts demand until frequency returns to normal. Electricity grids have to operate at a constant frequency and risk being damaged even by small variations caused by fluctuations in demand.
Enel X also manages energy market programs, that are Price-Responsive Markets, also known as economic DR. These recognize that a unit of electricity saved is worth as much as an extra unit generated and – crucially – should be paid for at the same rate. Hence, companies taking part can reduce their bills by agreeing to use less when prices are at their peak. Unlike in other programs, where the utility or the grid operator takes charge, it’s up to the participant to choose when to make the capacity available.
These are all ways in which Enel X can help smart operators save money and protect the environment by responding flexibly to the needs of the electricity grid wherever they are in the world.