UK manufacturers, building managers, local councils and other large energy users could generate extra income from their assets for helping manage local electricity supply and demand. This is thanks to a new smart grid, aggregation and trading platform SSE Enhance, launched by SSE Enterprise’s distributed energy business.
The platform will give customers access to the Wholesale market, Balancing Mechanism, and Ancillary Services.
Companies, public sector organisations and other customers can receive payments/make savings for reducing their electricity demand during peak periods, or they can reduce their own peaks through optimising and automating local demand against generation/storage. This will help customers manage local constraints, increase the security of supply and optimise asset performance.
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Customers could also be paid to feed excess electricity from their own assets – like combined heat and power units, solar panels, wind turbines or energy storage batteries – into the grid to help cope with spikes in demand.
Customers can set the parameters for the platform – such as the times of day that they’re prepared to vary their use of electricity on-site – and then SSE’s market-leading optimisation software, coupled with its experienced trading team, will optimise and/or trade those assets in response to market events.
Users also receive access to a round-the-clock support and monitoring desk.
This new platform forms the basis of SSE Enterprise’s wider suite of services, that will enable them to partner with organisations to support them on their journey to Net Zero carbon emissions.
SSE Enterprise’s distributed energy business is currently adding certain existing customers’ assets to the system so that they can begin trading their energy.
Stephen Stead, Director of Strategy & Digital Services at SSE Enterprise’s distributed energy business, said: “Creating a platform that combines SGS’s smart grid capabilities with our energy and trading experience is not only a watershed moment for our customers but will also make a significant contribution to the wider efforts of tackling the climate emergency.
“Combining this new solution with our wider Distributed Energy offering will mean we can work with customers to ensure they have the best deployed solution to meet carbon reduction targets. We can offer the full solution – funding, deployment, management and now optimisation.
“This will enable the deployment of more renewable energy generation – like wind turbines, solar panels, biomass plants and energy storage –which may have been inconceivable to customers previously due to capital cost constraints.
“This platform will help customers reduce energy demand at peak times which will help National Grid ESO to balance supply and demand, reducing the need for expensive upgrades to the wires, substations and other infrastructure.”
The platform was built using ANM Strata, a distributed energy resources management system (DERMS) developed by Glasgow-based energy software specialist Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS).
SGS’s programs are already used by companies in Europe and the United States – including UK Power Networks, Laing O’Rourke and Southern California Edison – to manage their energy systems.
SSE and SGS are also working together on Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure project (PIRI), a two year Innovate UK design project, that brings together energy generation, demand and storage, to unlock efficiencies not deliverable under our existing, traditional energy systems.
Graham Ault, Executive Director and Co-Founder of SGS, added: “The launch of SSE Enhance is a major milestone for both SSE Enterprise’s distributed energy business and ourselves.
“Building a platform around ANM Strata has brought our two companies closer together and demonstrated the benefits of harnessing our technology and SSE’s experience in the energy trading markets.
“Working with SSE in this way is a fast-growing part of our strategy to help customers gain access to markets for their energy assets.
“What’s more, we’re continuing to help connect more clean, decentralised, low-carbon power generation to the grid, which will help to tackle the climate emergency and bring Britain closer to its 2050 net-zero target.”
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