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 November 2019 – May 2020.
The start of the final year of the ARENA DR Trial brought a number of new challenges and an unprecedented global pandemic which upended daily life for both customers and Flow Power.
As per previous program periods there were no live activations during the 6-month window. The market conditions however were markedly different to previous years – early 2020 saw very high temperatures and severe bushfires impact the east coast of Australia. These circumstances led to the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) being activated in New South Wales for the first time ever.
However Flow Power’s ARENA RERT portfolio was not activated to provide assistance at any time during the hot summer. This included one day where the Victorian-New South Wales interconnector was taken offline due to bushfires and two other very hot days in late January. All of these days saw the activation of other RERT contracts in New South Wales.
The other significant event of 2020 was the coronavirus pandemic, which significantly impacted businesses and people’s daily habits and freedoms. One of the saving graces of the pandemic’s impact on the electricity sector is that the worst of the pandemic was experienced at a mild time of the during autumn and not the height of summer. The pandemic did however severely impact Flow Power staff who are primarily Melbourne-based and we unable to travel to outside of Victoria.
Looking ahead to the end of the ARENA DR trial at the end of 2020 Flow Power’s intention is to continue to promote demand response, particularly spot-exposed DR, and to migrate customers over to other RERT portfolios.
Flow Power also continues to promote automation and technology to facilitate demand response. With the impending start of the five minute settlement and the technical requirements of participation in the Wholesale Demand Response Mechanism technology-enable demand response will become increasingly important, if not essential, to participation.