How to access a demand response program, gaining improved energy management and a new revenue stream
Taking part in a demand response program alongside Enel X is simple and straightforward with the expert guidance we can offer
Published on Monday, 5 October 2020
Taking part in a demand response program is a three-part process. At Enel X, we stay with our clients all the way through each of those segments.
First, let’s take a step back and establish what participants are offered in demand response programs. In essence, these packages pay companies that agree to reduce their energy use in response to signals from the grid. And given that a kilowatt saved is the same as a kilowatt generated, those payments are made at the same rate as would be paid to a power station and can therefore involve significant amounts of money.
We can separate a client’s involvement in a demand response program into the following steps -- prepare, respond, restore.
Preparation involves designing a tailormade energy reduction plan for each facility. This sets out how clients can cut non-essential energy use without affecting operations, comfort or product quality. That might mean something as simple as turning down the lighting, reducing the air conditioning, or shifting the timing of an energy-intensive process by a few hours. It could also mean switching to backup generation to reduce demands on the grid. Whatever the final form, the plan will be customized to ensure it meets the client’s needs.
Our first move is to install the meters needed to make it all work. This includes a device that puts the facility in touch with our Network Operations Center in Dublin, which monitors clients’ consumption levels 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. The connection also allows customers to scrutinize their data in real time, as well as giving access to the tools Enel X software offers.
Response takes place at what we call the despatch stage. This kicks in when the grid operator notifies us that it will need support, and we in turn contact clients to let them know that the despatch is happening and how long it will last. This can typically be anything between 15 minutes and four hours. Once the client acknowledges the notification, the response is ready to go.
This is also when the client implements its energy reduction plan, cutting its electricity consumption as set out in the preparatory stage. The cutbacks might be managed manually on-site, or remotely by clicking a button.
Restoration comes once the despatch is over and facilities taking part receive clearance to return to normal operations. Enel X is your partner all the way through this and is in close contact with the client before, during and after the despatch to ensure reduction targets are met, earning the highest level of payment. Enel X is a global leader in demand response program, with decades of experience in the field that have brought us a 12% share of the market worldwide and managed capacity of 6.3 gigawatts.
Candidates able to participate in demand response programs include any facility that can cut electricity consumption by at least 100 kilowatts. These range from schools and colleges, to hospitals, manufacturing facilities, malls and much more besides.
Along with the increased revenue stream that comes with turning flexibility into cash, and progress toward meeting goals for use of renewable power sources, there are many benefits to taking part in demand response programs. Energy use declines, and bills fall as better power management allows a prompt response to high electricity prices. Participants also receive advance notice of stability issues in the grid and can manage their operations proactively.
Demand response is increasingly important as use grows of renewable sources that are by their nature intermittent. That means that along with a fatter revenue stream, companies taking part have the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping speed the transition to a new form of energy grid, one that is moving us all toward a greener, more sustainable future.