Smart grid technologies

10 reasons to participate in Demand Response programs

There are plenty of good reasons why companies should consider taking part in demand response programs and plenty more why they should choose Enel X

Published on JULY 06, 2020

The Advantages of Demand Response

Let’s start with the most obvious reason for taking part — a revenue boost. A company that can be flexible in its energy use is a company that can monetize that flexibility. Demand Response programs pay companies that agree to reduce the amount of energy they draw from the grid in response to signals from the network operator. This not only earns money for participants, it helps the wider community by ensuring that energy remains reliable and affordable in the region. Another advantage to joining a Demand Response program is that participants get advance notice of power outages. This allows companies to schedule their operations around any potential disruption and act to protect their facilities from the potential damage that an outage may cause. The advantages work in the direction of both the grid operator and participants. Electricity grids by their nature have to balance supply and demand to avoid damage. They must maintain a constant frequency — typically 50 hertz — which is also affected by any imbalance between supply and demand. Those considerations make Demand Response programs a clean, cost-effective alternative to installing new power plants or bringing capacity held in reserve back online. This avoids the grid operator having to incur what can be significant capital expenditure to make extra capacity available at peak times.

Our Demand Response Programs

Flexibility Solutions

Flexibility Solutions

Transforming energy from a cost into an opportunity

Our frequency response programs compensate participants that sign up to help resolve system frequency issues, using hardware that recognizes when frequency falls below a threshold and automatically cuts the participants’ demands on the grid. We also have energy market programs, which pay participants to save money. These pay customers to reduce their demands on the grid in response to high electricity prices. What’s more, they pay at the same rate that traditional power sources would receive for generating an equivalent amount of additional supply. Result: the participating company receives both a payment and a lower electricity bill. In contrast with other Demand Response programs, which are initiated by the utility or the grid operator, in these programs the customer can choose when to make themselves available to reduce consumption.

About Enel X

As part of the Enel Group, we have more than 50 years of experience in the energy business, with a unique insight into its workings and making us a leader in demand response. Along the way, we have learned that customer service is key to success. That is the philosophy behind our state-of-the-art Network Operations Center (NOC), which we set up in 2011 as our Demand Response command hub. The NOC operates the world’s biggest portfolio of Demand Response assets, managing more than 6 GW in 15 countries worldwide, and taking part in more than 50 programs around the world, all with differing regulatory backgrounds and business dynamics. 
The NOC operates around the clock, seven days a week, all the year round. In its recent Leaderboard report, the top energy consulting firm Guidehouse Insights put us among the leaders in “staying power”, a measure of our ability to withstand weak or volatile markets. That financial firepower gives us room to finance and implement any upgrades to their generators that customers might require in order to meet regulatory requirements for participation in demand response programs — at no upfront cost to the customer. We can also finance and implement other types of generator upgrade that make a plant viable, such as connecting more load or installing a transfer device.

Demand Response for Sustainability

Those are some of the immediate, financial and operational reasons companies should consider partnering with us to take part in Demand Response programs. There are also more long-term, strategic factors to consider. The background is that the growing importance of renewable sources, which depend on the weather, means that power is intermittent. That in turn means alternative sources have to be available to balance supply and demand within the grid. This is also part of another long-term process — the battle against climate change and efforts to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular to ensure access to clean, safe and sustainable energy for all. The result of all that is that many businesses now have goals for renewable energy use. What’s more, investors want them to have those goals and some make access to finance conditional on progress toward them. Participation in a demand response program helps companies meet the targets they have set themselves, reduce carbon emissions and cut waste. It also goes with the grain of current thinking in energy policy circles.
Innovation and Sustainability

Innovation and Sustainability

Leading the way to climate-proof technological transformation

Maximizing Energy Assets

Enel X is essentially a platform company, a state-of-the-art digital platform that connects the national grid’s needs with our portfolio of curtailable assets. That translates into big data going across the platform, which in turn allows big data analysis, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence applications. The result is a virtual power plant that allows our clients to maximize the value of their energy assets and to monetize their flexibility in using them.
As part of that, we look at a client’s entire energy portfolio with a view to ensuring they get the very best price for the power they generate or forgo, while reducing overall costs and risk. Our aim is for our partners to make the most of market and regulatory trends while achieving targets for sustainability.