Open Energi has signed an agreement with UK-based not-for-profit company Welsh Water to share its flexible energy demand from equipment across its network and to help manage peaks and troughs in electricity supply and demand across the country.
The utility aims to change its water pumps into responsive energy assets to bring much-needed flexibility to the UK grid. After an open tender and successful trial of Open Energi’s Dynamic Demand technology, Welsh Water expects to aggregate about 5MW from 25 of its sites during the first phase of deployment.
The technology serves as a distributed storage network, which can automatically adjust a pump’s power consumption within seconds. This allows for better managment of fluctuations in electricity supply and demand.
Though these automatic adjustments have no effect on Welsh Water’s operations, they are expected to help develop a smarter and more responsive system, which not only supports renewables but also a broader UK transition to attain a CO2 emission-free economy.
Open Energi’s commercial manager Chris Kimmett said: "The water sector consumes a lot of energy, but much of it is not time-sensitive, so there is huge scope for water companies to be flexible about when they consume energy and shift their demand intelligently."
Open Energi’s technology will support Welsh Water in its wider strategy to protect the environment, as well as to reduce its carbon emissions by investing in latest energy generation.
The flexible capacity provided by the equipment will facilitate the transformation of Welsh Water’s energy system, helping to displace peak power stations and create an electricity network, which is cleaner, cheaper, more secure, and efficient.