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Full-scale smart grid project to reduce strain on UK

Honeywell has announced a smart grid project that will help SSE plc connect up to 30 commercial and industrial buildings in the Thames Valley area west of London, and temporarily reduce electricity consumption when overall use spikes.

Full-scale smart grid project to reduce strain on UK

This will help alleviate the potential for future transmission and distribution bottlenecks as the peak demand for energy grows. It will also enable building operators to decrease their energy use, utility bills and carbon dioxide emissions.

As part of the £30-million New Thames Valley Vision (NTVV) project recently awarded to Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) by UK energy regulator Ofgem, Honeywell will install automated demand response (Auto DR) technology in the selected facilities. The utility will then work with these customers to trim peak electricity use and reduce strain on the local networks and substations, which are nearing capacity; creating a more robust, agile grid without the disruption and expense that sometimes accompany major infrastructure upgrades.

“NTVV has the potential to revolutionise our existing networks, and help us to manage resources and equipment more effectively as the UK heads toward a low-carbon economy,” said Stewart Reid, NTVV Project Director at SSEPD. “We’ll need to collaborate with our customers to achieve these goals and see Auto DR as one of the key tools to make that a reality.”

The project builds on a successful Auto DR demonstration in Bracknell, where Honeywell proved that a commercial building could quickly shed up to 45% of its electrical load during peak hours. The result of the pilot prompted SSE to expand the use of the technology. Honeywell expects the full-scale project will give the utility the ability to shave approximately 10 megawatts of energy use when necessary.

“A smarter grid is essential to balancing supply and demand in the most efficient, sustainable way possible,” said Paul Orzeske, President of Honeywell Building Solutions. “But utilities also need to connect with their customers in new ways and Auto DR creates those bonds. It’s flexible enough to meet a variety of energy challenges, from daily grid congestion issues to intermittency concerns that stem from microgeneration.”

Honeywell will use several technologies in its portfolio, including offerings from it’s Akuacom and Tridium businesses, to connect SSE with buildings on the utility’s low-voltage Bracknell network. The Demand Response Automation Server (DRAS) from Akuacom allows the utility to alert customers when energy use is expected to peak and create grid congestion. At each facility, a NiagaraAX Frameworkbased controller from Tridium will help automate load-shedding strategies during these periods. The controller listens for signals from the DRAS and communicates with the building management system, which then makes short-term changes based on parameters the customer sets in advance. This could be turning off banks of lights or elevators, or even cycling equipment on and off.

In addition to providing and implementing the technology, Honeywell will offer consulting and engineering services to help the customers develop shed strategies, looking for ways to briefly reduce energy use with minimal impact to operations.

Honeywell will also investigate opportunities to decrease day-today consumption, which will help participants reduce their operating costs and environmental impact, and align with Carbon Reduction Commitment legislation.

Automated Demand Response
Buildings account for more than 70% of electricity use globally. Auto DR enables utilities to call on commercial facilities to automatically decrease consumption during times of peak demand, reducing the load on the electrical network.

Building operators work with an energy company such as Honeywell to develop custom strategies to decrease their energy use, utility bills and carbon dioxide emissions. DNOs, in turn, are able to alleviate grid congestion caused by growing demand and the pressure it puts on transmission and distribution equipment. The prevailing alternative is to replace or reinforce the sub-stations, electrical cables and associated equipment, which requires significant capital investment and construction in highly developed urban areas.

Previous demand response programmes have been largely manual and cumbersome to initiate. As a result, building operators had to dedicate the necessary resources to participate and utilities couldn’t count on a consistent response. The Akuacom and Tridium technologies are able to interact with virtually any building system, providing a reliable decrease in consumption with minimal input. That’s because the solution is based on open, industry-accepted standards.

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