Innovative BEIS-backed Project Set to Unlock Demand Side Response Revenue for Smaller Sites

A project which aims to provide the first realistic opportunity for smaller commercial energy users across Britain to benefit from demand side response (DSR), has secured close to half a million in funding from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Edinburgh-based energy supplier and demand response pioneer Flexitricity is now working on recruiting a range of sites to implement and test the new solution as part of the second phase of the Quickturn project. It is also partnering with the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Digital Communications, which will contribute its word-class expertise in emerging technology to increase communication speed and reliability, and reduce the overall cost of setting up DSR dispatch systems.

The project will benefit SMEs - the backbone of the UK economy – as well as smaller sites that are part of larger, multi-site estates, such as supermarket chains. The Quickturn project will help these sites reduce energy costs and earn revenue through providing electricity system balancing services to National Grid.  Previously, participation has not been economically viable for smaller sites due to the cost of hardware, communications and implementation.

Similar to large-scale DSR, Quickturn will use flexible energy-consuming assets such as cold storage, air conditioning and heat pumps to help National Grid balance the fluctuating demands of the UK energy system.

Speaking of the project, Dr Alastair Martin, founder and CSO at Flexitricity, said: “The ongoing drive towards a more decentralised, renewables-based energy system means that small businesses, and eventually households, will have a vital role to play in the long-term management of our energy system. We’re proud to be able to deliver the tools that enable businesses to take control of their energy usage and earn much needed additional revenue.

“The funding we’ve secured for this project will allow us to develop a cost and time effective solution that fits the requirements of National Grid as well as small sites. National Grid doesn’t turn down its requirements for reliability just because a site is small.  Also, a small site will have core business processes which are just as critical as they would be on a large site.  This means we’ve had to find a way to deliver the same quality to National Grid, and achieve the same core business protection for the site, as we do in traditional DSR – but with less time spent working on site, and smaller, lower-cost equipment.

Flexitricity is no stranger to DSR innovation. In 2016 it launched its ‘Footroom’ service (also referred to as Demand Turn Up) which is now used by National Grid to make use of excess wind power. This reduces the need to pay wind farms to shut down, while enabling businesses to use green energy instead of fossil fuels during low demand periods.

Trialling of the Quickturn service will commence in Q1/Q2 of 2019, with findings set to be shared in 2020.

Ends

In the UK, issued by Weber Shandwick on behalf of Flexitricity.

For more information please contact:

Rory Brown: 0131 556 6649/ 07870 805 291/ rbrown@webershandwick.com

Dyan Owen: 0141 333 0557/ 07775 404 601/ dowen@webershandwick.com

Notes to Editors

About Flexitricity

Flexitricity created and now operates the first, largest and most advanced demand-response portfolio in GB and has unsurpassed knowledge of the market and its requirements.

Headquartered in Edinburgh, Flexitricity partners with businesses throughout Great Britain to provide reserve electricity to National Grid.  The word “Flexitricity” means “Flexible Electricity”. The company looks for flexibility in electricity consumption and generation, creating revenue for energy users and generators as well as reducing national CO2emissions and helping to secure energy supplies.

Their team is fully engaged at industry and regulatory level and has a track record that demonstrates innovation and delivery success.

Flexitricity is part of the Alpiq Group, a leading Swiss electricity and energy service provider with a strong presence across Europe.