Energy technology company REstore has been selected to sell emergency power, known as committed Short Term Operating Reserve, to National Grid. Whenever power demand threatens to outstrip power supply, National Grid calls upon companies such as REstore to rebalance the grid in real-time. However, unlike incumbent providers of emergency power, REstore balances the grid by managing pure demand, instead of relying on back-up from diesel generators. This disruptive model is a greener, more cost-efficient approach to energy management.
REstore’s successful offer to National Grid was purely composed of energy aggregated from commercial and industrial consumers, essentially releasing power back into the grid when it’s needed most. Instead of loading the grid with energy from gas-fired ‘peaker’ plants or diesel generators to increase power supply, REstore’s approach eases pressure on the grid by reducing pure power demand. Working with big consumers in sectors such as the steel, cement, or water treatment industries, REstore identifies where energy usage can safely be curtailed without affecting business operations. The total amount of energy REstore can save is equivalent to taking 30,000 households off the grid. REstore’s approach reduces CO2 emissions and helps bring down the cost of electricity.
Over the past 18 months, REstore has provided over 20 activations delivering over 95% reliability in less than 10 minutes. REstore’s 95% reliability rate is one of the key selection criteria of any European Transmission System Operator. By selecting REstore, National Grid has increased the amount of Short Term Operating Reserve from pure demand-side by more than 35%.
Pieter-Jan Mermans, co-CEO of REstore, said: “Historically, the energy market worked on the assumption that the only factor in their control was supply. We can control demand in real-time by working with the UK’s biggest energy consumers. Controlling demand makes more business sense, and it also works in harmony with the growing role of renewable power.”
Jan-Willem Rombouts, also co-CEO of REstore, added: “It only takes a few small changes to make a big difference to the electricity grid’s stability. Our British customers can significantly alleviate pressure on the grid, just by individually making tiny reductions in their energy consumption. By the end of 2014, we’ll be able to provide the UK with the equivalent output of a gas-fired plant.”
Some of REstore’s commercial and industrial customers net nearly half a million pounds in annual payments for limiting their energy consumption. Additionally, some customers are able to save up to 10% on their annual energy bill.
Large manufacturing companies, including Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK, Barclays, Praxair and Lhoist have recently joined REstore’s Demand Response programmes. REstore continues to recruit more commercial and industrial consumers for Demand Response programmes both in the UK and continental Europe.