Demand responseProject Flow Power Energy Under Control Demand Response
This report provides an overview of the demand response provided by Flow Power across New South Wales for the ARENA Demand Response Trial. The knowledge and lessons shared is for the period between December 2018 – May 2019.
Year 1 – Recruitment and Set up
- Many large customers (Maximum Demand > 1 MW) felt the financial reward was not significant enough to offset their risks of program participation. This forced Flow Power to shift the focus towards smaller businesses. In some cases the Controller was provided at no cost as an additional incentive to program participation.
- In comparison to Flow Power’s experience operating and recruiting for RERT portfolios in Victoria and South Australia, NSW customers generally had less knowledge of demand response and the RERT mechanism.
- In some occasions, Flow Power found that within customer organisations there were varying drivers. For example, operation managers had different motivations to the main decision makers signing onto the program, namely operational targets being of greater importance than pure financial decisions. In some cases these different motivations may be encapsulated in operational or revenue-based KPI targets.
- Several customers, specifically those who are not existing Flow Power customers, expressed concerns about integrating new technologies with their existing control systems. This issue is often resolved through improving the customer’s understanding of how the kWatch® Intelligent Controller operates and the process followed when sending customer signals.
- The initial recruitment of customers yielded significantly lower demand reductions than anticipated or estimated. For example, the initial contracted portfolio was expected to provide 6 MW, however the first test yielded only 1.5 MW. The second test yielded a 3.6 MW reduction in demand from an expected portfolio of 9 MW. The risk of portfolio underperformance due to weather conditions or altered production conditions can be mitigated by over-subscribing the portfolio.
- The kWatch® Intelligent Controller has had significant updates to its installed firmware. Major development effort was undertaken to improve the reliability and stability of the Controller under all conditions. Flow Power achieved the goal of keeping all the Controllers online the majority of the time. The Controllers have an in-built watchdog monitoring network failures and device recovery.
- The kWatch® Intelligent Controller has the ability for near-real time information collection from meters and delivery (via portal and app) to enable participants to make educated decisions about energy usage. Continued development also been undertaken to provide notifications of events via various communication channels.