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Hospital earns £200K a year from flexible generation and DSR

Working with electricity supplier Haven Power and demand response aggregator Kiwi Power, Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust earns around £200,000 annually from power generation. The Trust’s Estates department has also reduced expenditure through improved energy management.

To enjoy similar benefits, organisations need a flexible approach to energy generation, consumption and cost reduction – as do their energy partners. However, embedded generation and demand side response (DSR) are complex and having access to the relevant expertise can help businesses make the most of the opportunities the schemes present.

Embedded generation

Embedded generation, also known as distributed generation, is a term used for an electricity generator connected to the Distribution Network rather than the Transmission Network. Organisations can use generation technologies such as solar, wind, hydro and biomass, as well as non-renewables.

Together, companies and their energy partners can establish that the potential income from generation outweighs the capital investment and on-going equipment costs, and decide how to manage the energy produced:

  1. Receive payments for electricity generation via a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) with a supplier such as Haven Power,at either an agreed or variable rate per unit. This option can offer the generator a variety of savings related to Use of System charges including Generator Distribution (GDUoS) and Balancing Services (BSUoS).
  2. Join the Feed-in Tariff(FiT) scheme, a Government programme promoting small-scale renewable or low-carbon generation technologies. FiT licensees like Haven Power pay generators for the electricity they produce (including the power they use themselves), at rates in line with inflation.
  3. Decide not to export yet, but retain the option to do so on demand. This is viable if the generator can balance its costs against the income from supplying back-up energy to National Grid, via a number of demand response programmes.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust’s Estates department currently deploys a combination of PPAs with Haven Power and various DSR services with Kiwi Power.

When it was time for the Estates department to tender the Trust’s current electricity contract, the team worked with Haven Power to find additional value and flexibility in the standard terms. For example, the supplier now provides a daily triad report between November and February – with the extra benefit of within-day updates where necessary.

This helps inform the Estates department’s energy purchasing decisions and offers an opportunity to minimise or avoid consumption in high-cost periods.

At the same time, Kiwi Power helps the Estates department to make the most of the Trust’s five generation assets that are spread across the sites. The aggregator designed a bespoke solution that allowed it to control the generators remotely using real-time metering hardware and a combination of existing and new control systems.

Kiwi Power also wirelessly collects the meter’s data reports and sends them to National Grid, while ensuring the Estates department receives a notification whenever a demand response event occurs.

Maximise benefits

To help simplify the complexity surrounding DSR and embedded generation, and amplify the benefits of both, organisations can work alongside their energy partners. For Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, this meant building upon its existing relationships with leading demand response aggregator Kiwi Power and agile supplier Haven Power.

By working in collaboration with KiWi Power and Haven Power, the Estates department at the Trust is able to maximise all the available demand flexibility revenues and savings. This ensures it remains a forward thinking and innovative energy user.

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