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Demystifying smart grid for businesses

The creator of the first smart grid in the UK has published its quick reference guide for managers and decision-makers with guidance on how to access smart grid revenues.

UK company Flexitricity has released its four-page guide ‘Smart Grid Revolution’ to clearly identify the revenues open to UK businesses that own and operate electricity generating or consuming equipment.

Flexitricity created and now operates the first, largest and most advanced smart grid system in the UK. The company contracts to National Grid’s Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) and Frequency Control by Demand Management (FCDM) procurement mechanisms.

The majority of the revenues associated with Flexitricity’s demand response solution transfer to the owners of the assets connected to its smart grid – a national system which aggregates small scale electricity generation and consumption turn-down across multiple sites.

“The aggregation of demand response and distributed generation is essential to the development of a gigawatt-scale smart grid infrastructure to accommodate for the UK’s increasing reliance upon renewables,” said Dr. Alastair Martin, Chief Strategy Officer and founder of Flexitricity. “To respond to intermittent electricity supply and spikes in national demand, our servers securely connect to multiple Flexitricity outstations which in turn are connected and configured to ‘talk’ with our customer’s energy assets. This dialogue enables us to monitor the state of equipment anywhere in the UK and turn down consumption or turn on generation for short periods when the Grid needs our support,” he continued.

Many businesses are sitting on untapped sources of revenue in their on-site generation and electricity consuming equipment. Flexitricity unlocks this revenue for UK businesses, helping to increase asset reliability while reducing CO2 emissions at a national level. Customers are paid a ‘rent’ for the assets they have connected (termed ‘availability’) and a usage payment (‘utilisation’) when Flexitricity’s smart grid receives a signal from National Grid, such as during demand peaks or when large power stations fail.

ExCeL London is one of the sites referenced in Flexitricity’s guide. This site runs two standby diesel generators with 6MW of electrical generation. Flexitricity’s smart grid automatically accesses the generators for short periods of time when they are not required by ExCeL, generating six-figure annual revenues for ExCeL from these existing assets.

Connecting to Flexitricity’s aggregation platform also enables customers to benefit from the company’s annual triad management program and also to potentially access a number of the innovative Low Carbon Network Fund projects – which include Low Carbon London.

“If a business is able to reduce national electricity demand during the triad periods, it saves its electricity supplier money and therefore it benefits directly from doing so through proportionally reduced triad charges – we have a 100% track record in successfully predicting triads,” said Ron Ramage, Chief Executive Officer, Flexitricity. “Our triad management service illustrates how connecting to our smart grid can extend revenue opportunities for customers – we are constantly investing in new technology and service development, enabling us to share opportunities with a growing community of UK business customers,” he concluded.

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