Anglian Water taps into the Water - Energy Nexus

For many water companies energy is a significant cost Open Energi, redT and Anglian Water partner to optimise a £77m bill.
Published: Thu 06 Sep 2018

We have long argued that major industrial organisations should be the primary focus for energy optimisation and flexibility. This announcement further proves the viability of this trend.

Anglian Water one of the largest water companies in the United Kingdom has purchased has purchased a 60kW/300kWh redT energy storage machine to install alongside a 450kWp solar photovoltaic (PV) system at one of its Water Treatment Works.

This is part of Anglian Waters strategy to deliver Carbon Neutrality by 2050 more than that it makes serious economic sense.

The Project in numbers

Over the next 18 months, the company will be building over 30MWp of solar under a 25-year PPA contract with HBS New Energies & Macquarie Principal Finance. This programme of work will reduce carbon emissions by 15,000 tonnes of CO2e and increase Anglian Waters renewables generation by approximately 25%, delivering annual savings in excess of £1m.

Of the ground-breaking project, Jason Tucker, Director of Alliances and Integrated Supply Chain at Anglian Water said: “This pathfinder integrates, rather than simply co-locates, storage and solar. The approach will enable us to develop future-proof solutions for managing energy more flexibly and efficiently, whilst increasing resilience.”

In addition to this a second significant solar programme will shortly be out for tender.  This additional generation for solar will supplement the increasing amount of renewable power that Anglian Water is generating from its wind turbines and its fleet of Combined Heat and Power engines powered by biogas.

Investing in energy storage infrastructure will enable Anglian to increase onsite solar generation by 80 per cent at the ‘pathfinder’ site in Norfolk from 248kWp to 450 kWp.  In parallel, redT’s energy storage machine will create additional value for Anglian Water by providing real-time balancing services to take advantage of wholesale energy price arbitrage. In total, the project is expected to reduce site electricity costs by 50%t per annum by 2040.

Glueing it together - the role of AI and dynamic balancing

A key to enabling systems like this is real-time dynamic balancing which not only optimises the operational efficiency but also has a significant role in maximising return on investment.

By partnering with energy tech company, Open Energi. The flow machine will be fitted with Open Energi’s innovative Dynamic Demand 2.0 software which harnesses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise energy consumption and stack multiple demand-side value streams.

Open Energi estimate that their dynamic demand control system adds a 30% uplift in value versus built-in battery storage schedulers, 15% increase in system lifetime.

Tucker continues, saying: “Using redT’s flexible energy storage infrastructure alongside Open Energi’s smart software will allow us to unlock more solar power, as well as allowing us to participate in grid services to further reduce our energy bills.  

He summarises: “Most importantly, this collaborative project will provide us with invaluable insight to support our future energy strategy, as one of the largest energy ‘prosumers’ in the East of England.”

In a similar project with United Utilities, Dynamic Demand 2.0 continuously monitors and manages electricity demand and generation.

With 21% of its energy consumption being generated through its own renewable fleet and plans to increase this by 20MW by 2020, the water firm needs to be flexible and intelligent with its electricity consumption.

By leveraging AI to create the optimal strategy in real-time, United Utilities can automatically shift consumption according to demand levels and peak periods, helping to balance the grid across the UK.

All of these developments from Open Energi and its partners open doors for electrical grid integration and enabling flexibility. Already, Open Energi is collaborating on the UK Power Networks Piclo Flex trial, working alongside distribution system operators to provide flexibility.