UK Adopts New Smart Grid Programme

National Grid is implementing a new automated demand response to reduce grid stress.
Published: Fri 02 May 2014

The UK’s National Grid will be launching a new smart grid programme which is aimed at reducing commercial and industrial energy consumption during peak demand.

To encourage participation, facility owners will be paid to reduce consumption during times of peak demand. National Grid will implement new technology that will monitor and automate the process ensuring minimal impact on companies’ operations.

A better balance of supply

The technology, implemented by Honeywell and Sor Generation, will help these participating companies to identify, implement and automate short-term changes to heating, lighting and other building systems in order to lower consumption levels. Both Honeywell and Stor Generation have done smaller-scale demand response projects under the U.K.’s low carbon network fund, but this is their first foray into the nationwide Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) market.

The energy that is saved from this scheme will be transferred back to National Grid so that it can boost its Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR). This reserve is in place to ensure grid stability by compensating for spikes in consumption.

The scheme will help National Grid assess automated demand response (ADR) ability to reduce pressure on the system instead of asking customers to switch over to back-up diesel generators.

National Grid hopes that the scheme will help to attain a better balance of supply and demand, whilst also reducing carbon emissions.

"The technology required to avoid a megawatt of consumption costs a fraction of that needed to pump out an additional megawatt," said Jeremy Eaton, vice president of Honeywell Smart Grid Solutions. "From a cost-benefit standpoint, ADR is the most prudent option for reducing energy use and is the most clean, sustainable path to energy reliability."

Improving the management of energy consumption

In addition, the companies claim that the associated hardware and software installed as part of the scheme will help each organisation better manage its electricity consumption, thereby further reducing energy costs and associated carbon emissions.

A number of demand response projects are on the go currently and companies include KiWi Power, Flexitricity, and REstore [Engerati:National Grid “REstores” its Power] .

Currently, the UK boasts the most competitive demand response market in Europe, according to the Smart Energy Demand Coalition industry group. This makes it the most likely testing ground for a number of contenders from around the world.

Further reading:

Engerati:Demand Response Growth-Is Europe Ready?

Engerati:Demand Response-Overdue in Europe