Vertical farm producer Jones Food Company will partner with Flexitricity on the groundbreaking Quickturn project.
Trials are about to start at its 5,000 square metre production plant in Scunthorpe, giving the producer the opportunity to transform its energy profile through access to the demand side response (DSR) market.
The partnership with Flexitricity will help Jones Food Company improve its energy efficiency and earn revenue through providing electricity system balancing services to National Grid.
The Quickturn project is funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and aims to provide the first realistic opportunity for smaller commercial energy users across Britain to benefit from DSR.
Previously, participation has not been economically viable for smaller sites due to the cost of hardware, communications and implementation.
Similar to large-scale DSR, Flexitricity will utilise its expertise in flexible energy-consuming assets on site to help National Grid balance the fluctuating demands of the UK energy system.
Jones Food Company produces leafy salads and herbs for UK customers, supplying produce for up to 11 million sandwiches per week. Its Scunthorpe facility is one of the largest and most advanced vertical farms in the world aiming to transform the way we meet the global population’s growing demands for food. The practice of vertical farming involves growing food inside warehouse-type buildings on vertical racks, using artificial light and advanced growth techniques like hydroponics where no soil is used.
The business is committed to utilising cutting-edge technology to produce crops in the most environmentally efficient way possible.
Managing director James Lloyd Jones believes the Quickturn partnership gives the business an opportunity to demonstrate how small commercial users can come together to support National Grid in meeting the energy needs of the UK.
He said: “We are an energy intensive site and the trial is enabling us to be smarter about our consumption whilst providing a sustainable revenue stream that improves our operational costs and bottom line.
“Whilst we have the potential to be more competitive on every pound we save, there is a bigger picture here as the UK faces a significant challenge in how it delivers clean energy of the future.
“By working with Flexitricity on the Quickturn project we can help National Grid and develop innovative solutions that transform the UK’s energy infrastructure and help us reach our 2050 net zero emissions targets.
“The sky is the limit and we are very much looking forward demonstrating the potential for smaller commercial users throughout the country to earn revenue and help the UK achieve net zero,” he added.
Flexitricity has pioneered the demand-response industry, generating over £20million for its energy partners since its started live operations in 2004. It is the first supplier in the UK to provide full, active participation in the Balancing Mechanism for demand response assets.
The Edinburgh-headquartered business now has close to 500 MW under management – a virtual power station helping the National Grid meet the energy demands of the UK.
Dr Alastair Martin, founder and CSO at Flexitricity, said: “The ongoing drive towards a low carbon economy and the UK Government’s net zero 2050 emissions targets means that small businesses will have an important role to play in helping shape the energy infrastructure of the future. The era of the passive energy user is over. Not only is a smarter energy system essential for tackling climate change, it is also fairer and will allow everyone to benefit – from businesses of all size to domestic energy users.
“Jones Food Company is an incredibly ambitious fast-growth company and we are excited to be working with them to drive innovation and help them realise greater efficiencies and revenue from their energy assets.”
Further partners include Scottish Water Horizon, Veolia, Norish, Glasgow City Council and Northumberland City Council.
With trials about to commence across the UK, findings are expected to be shared in 2020.
Issued by Media Zoo on behalf of Flexitricity.
For more information please contact:
Neil McDonald: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07428 398 402 / 0141 471 8399
Ross Henderson: email@example.com / 07954 995 104 / 0141 471 8399
Notes to Editors:
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 CO2 emissions 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.
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