– UK industrial energy users participate

Several UK industrial energy users have found a way to participate in an electricity demand-side management project. Electricity supply company npower business says it is the first ‘demand aggregator’ to have had its electricity demand tranche successfully called off by grid operator National Grid under its ‘Demand Turndown Winter’ pilot scheme. To date 136 MW have been successfully called upon through the scheme, which is designed to assist National Grid manage the system using demandside flexibility within the market.

The demand turndown scheme was established by National Grid to create a new contingency reserve of electricity by rewarding industrial and commercial customers who can reduce their electricity consumption or increase on-site generation at peak times, and make this capacity available to the grid. Traditionally, the minimum reserve required by National Grid from one source was 100 MW, making it impossible for smaller industrial and commercial customers to get involved. However under the pilot scheme, npower business is able to combine the turndown capacity of businesses that can provide at least 3 MW of flexibility, into 100 MW blocks.

The scheme is ideally suited for businesses with on-site generation or load management facilities and will enable them to receive an income for providing the balancing service.

From a customer’s perspective, participation may mean having to build greater flexibility into the manufacturing processes in order to turn off the demand at peak times or switch to an alternative generation source. However, in return for these adjustments, participating businesses can receive significant financial rewards, says npower. For example, during last year’s initial summer trial scheme and then in the winter pilot scheme, npower business’ customers have earned more than £100 (US$190) per MWh for every MW dispatched. In addition they have also received availability payments and payments for the tranche being put on standby.

npower business says it has signed up organizations from a range of industry sectors; including chemicals, industrial gases, cement and metals.

– installed in San Salvador

The newly inaugurated solar photovoltaic system installed at the German School in San Salvador, El Salvador, is thought to be the largest in Central America. Installed by Germany’s Phönix SonnenStrom AG, the installation is part of a programme operated by the German Energy Agency, dena, to open up international markets for solar technology.

The peak output of the San Salvador installation is 20 kW and the array is expected to generate some 30 MWh of electricity annually for use at the school or, on non-school days, exported to the local utility grid. The project was financed as a public– private partnership by the German Federal Ministry of the Economy and Labour, Phönix SonnenStrom AG, SMA Technologie AG, Rosendahl Energietechnik GmbH and private sources in El Salvador