Combined heat and power plants are typically specified to meet the on-site energy needs of a business. However, 80% of CHP plants in the UK are three or more years old and a recent survey of their operators suggests that of the respondents, over a third claim their plant was designed to cater to these past needs.
Conditions today have changed, however, and have been influenced by external forces such as net zero strategies, the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD), and Triad reform.
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Many industrial and commercial businesses have implemented small energy management projects over recent years to increase efficiency in operations and reduce their sites’ energy demands, such as LED lighting.
In response to these market changes, Enel X has launched GEO, an integrated solution that optimises the operational schedule of a wide range of assets including turbines, engines and steam boilers.
GEO enables operators to maximise the flexible capacity of their CHP plant while meeting site needs in the most economical way.
For a CHP plant designed to meet older or obsolete needs, optimisation may result in an improved operational schedule and flexible capacity that can be used to export energy to the grid – an advantage only 14% of the survey respondents take.
GEO provides a way to maximise the value of this capacity through trading in the capacity market, balancing mechanism and wholesale markets, generating additional revenue for the business.
Now more technology-based improvements, like GEO, offer advanced inputs and machine learning to ensure an optimal level of efficiency on a larger scale.
“Businesses continue to experience energy market volatility amidst an evolving regulatory landscape, driving the need to optimise assets and minimise energy costs,” said Tony Whittle, Head of Enel X UK & Ireland. “GEO gives CHP operators more control over their assets and creates an opportunity to trade flexible capacity, enabling them to save 5-15% of their energy costs overall.”