Demand response has become a hot topic in recent years. Last year the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) launched a joint initiative to ensure stable energy supply during times in peak demand of which, Flow Power is a participant in the program in NSW.
Demand response is a simple idea
ARENA explained it best when Adam Morton wrote, imagine you have turned up at the airport, e-ticket in hand, only to be told your plane is full. There are no other flights immediately available, but the airline has a solution: if you can volunteer to miss the flight and wait for a later one you will be compensated – through an upgrade, a voucher, or maybe a free night in a good hotel. At least from one perspective you’re better off.
Inconvenienced passengers may grumble, but they also mostly recognise that supply of any good is not infinite. And if they lose out – by choice, hopefully – they win in another way.
A similar idea is behind demand response. Demand response is simply businesses reducing the power they draw from the grid during times when demand for power is greater than supply.
Just as it would make little sense for an airline to put on another flight for a handful of passengers, there is not much economic sense in building another power plant to service a tiny number of consumers at the few times a year when electricity use peaks. What if, instead, consumers were offered an incentive to cut use during extreme circumstances?
It’s simple to get involved
The power market is a balance between supply and demand, when demand is greater than supply you can support the market and be rewarded by lower average power costs or payments for your business. Market signals such as real time electricity prices and short-term network constraints indicate when demand response is likely to be required.
Small changes to your operations can make a big difference to your power bill and the reliability of the system.
From modelling we did on 670 Australian business last financial year, at the start of 2018, demand response could have cut South Australia’s power price by 2.7 c/kWh for all Australians.
It can include shutdown of non-essential plant, use of onsite generation or energy storage such as batteries or load shifting. Businesses generally have more flexibility to shift demand than they realise, and new technologies are making it cheaper and easier to do so.
Getting on with the job
We know you have a business to run so by signing up to demand response with us means you let our experts monitor the market for you. You receive notifications when the time comes to respond via email and text message.
In addition, for businesses who want greater control over their power we have the kWatch® Intelligent Controller. When installed on your site, the Controller gives you more insight into your business, alerts and can integrate with your operation. The Controller integrates with your energy intensive equipment, so you can respond within minutes to market signals.
For more than 10 years, we have been working with Australian businesses to ensure they are rewarded for supporting the power market with demand response. We can get you involved in a range of programs including RERT (VIC and SA), and ARENA (NSW).
To see what it’s like to participate in demand response and explore how it would work for your business, join our webinar on 13 Nov.