Enel X: leading Demand Response in Italy
The Demand Response market is starting to take shape in Italy now too. When the results of the latest Terna auction were published in September 2018, it emerged that Enel X had been awarded 51 MW, bringing its total to 119 MW and making it Italy’s leading Demand Response aggregator.
The dispatching services pilot project promoted by the grid operator Terna had already seen Enel X assigned over 50 MW of industrial and commercial customer-derived flexibility at previous auctions. Enel X thus remains one of the leading players on the energy innovation scene with its own flexibility services.
During the latest fixed-term resource provision programme reserved for owners of virtual consumption units authorised to participate in the dispatching services market (UVACs - Aggregate Virtual Consumption Units), Terna provided a quantity of virtual resources totalling 500 MW for the period spanning 18 June to 30 September 2018. Through its diversified portfolio of contracted clients (UVACs), Enel X, which has now been assigned 119 MW in total, will provide Terna with the capacity required to meet the grid operator’s needs whenever there is a request from the latter.
Demand Response is quite literally a response to demand. The service allows commercial and industrial customers to respond to market signals by modulating their energy consumption to manage electricity supply or demand peaks, thereby contributing to greater grid flexibility and stability, and resulting in more efficient use of both infrastructure and energy resources.
So how does it work exactly? Through Enel X, and thanks to an expert team that covers the entire value chain, customers receive real-time balancing orders to stabilise the grid, based on their availability to implement the service. This scenario is driving the energy market towards a whole new era in energy dispatching. A paradigm shift that already seems light years ahead of the scenario of just a few months ago when only power stations were allowed to participate in the services market. Now, however, there is also a role for distributed generation and demand.
Already an established world leader in Demand Response through its US subsidiary EnerNOC, Enel X is similarly at the forefront of the Italian market. The recently-assigned 51 MW are actually the first to bear the name of Enel Group’s new energy services and technologically advanced solutions unit. From now on, Italian businesses will also be able to contribute to the energy market, as part of an approach that favours conscious consumerism and energy efficiency, following the guidelines of the core concept of innovability: sustainability and innovation.
Another feature worth acknowledging is the process of order management and plant control/monitoring which uses one of the most evolved smart platforms in the sector. The latter maximises the value of customer aggregates by leveraging their differing characteristics and availability. The management of such a diversified portfolio of clients, which varies in both size and sector, is one of the key strengths of Enel X’s proposal.
There is growing excitement in Italy about the next phases of the Terna pilot project which, in the future, will involve Aggregate Virtual Mixed Units (UVAMs) which are characterised by the presence of non-relevant production units (including storage systems) and consumption units. At this stage, Terna will be required to present the Authority with a trial project relating to the participation of UVAMs in the Dispatching Services Market (DSM), while also evaluating the initial results from the implementation of the pilot projects (relating to UVAPs and UVACs respectively). The ultimate goal is to pursue the technological neutrality encouraged by the Authority to support access to, and participation in, the DSM.
Enel X’s range of smart solutions always includes the response best suited to satisfying the needs of the customer.