How a pharma plant is earning almost €200k p.a. from its energy assets

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How a pharma plant is earning almost €200k p.a. from its energy assets

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CoolPlanet operates as a Demand Side Response Aggregator right across the island of Ireland. Within its portfolios it has several sites, each referred to an Individual Demand Site (IDS).

Each IDS is assessed for its capabilities to provide Demand Reduction and in turn what markets and products they are suitable for.

The Republic of Ireland-based pharmaceutical company in this case study had a connection to the ESB grid, two generators on site, and a 1MW Battery (BESS).

To ensure that the site was suitable for participation in the Electricity Markets in Ireland, a desktop study of the contractual and technical arrangements that the company had with the ESB grid was carried out.

Firstly, any connection restrictions to the grid were determined by examining the Connection Agreement which is held by the IDS. The Maximum Import Capacity (MIC) and Maximum Export Capacity (MEC) are identified within this agreement, and it showed that there was no MEC available.

Next, the electricity consumption of the IDS was identified through the analysis of the metering data. This data was requested from ESB, with the approval of the IDS. The desktop analysis enabled the historic consumption profile of the site over the past couple of years to be known so the Demand Reduction Capability can be determined. This shows the cyclic usage over the day and over the week/month/year.

Technical data

The pharma company was asked to complete a technical data sheet, which seeks to determine an overall picture of the site. Technical queries include information regarding the pharma company's generators, including details such as the capacity of these generators, or if there are no generators, what the site can ‘switch off’ to reduce demand from the grid.

Generators have different modes of operation, in relation to the electricity grid, and the technical data sheet identified that the companies’ generators are synchronised Long Term Parallel, which means there is no disruption to the processes on site.

Assessment for market participation

After we assessed the historic data and understood the mode of operation, through the desktop study, a proposal was submitted to the pharma company which showed the potential revenue for the market services that were available from the site.

The pharma company’s site was identified as being capable of participating in the Capacity market (with generators) and the DS3 market (with the 1MW Battery). The site was also provided with contracts for DSU and DS3, which reflect the identified markets.

Following the completion of contractual agreements, we initiated the installation of monitoring equipment and integration of such into our SCADA systems. It is a requirement of market participation that monitoring equipment is installed so that the reduction in consumption can be reported by us.

This should match the half-hour data recorded by ESB and provided to the energy markets. Having commissioned the monitoring equipment, we then organised a test with the EIRGRID (System Operator of Ireland) to identify a maximum capability for the pharma company.

These tests included dispatching the individual demand site (pharma company) to respond and show that the site can be turned on and off in a controlled fashion. The reduction volume is captured by the monitoring SCADA software and separately by ESB metering.

The test data was incorporated in a report to EIRGRID, approved by them and the IDS MW volume was added to the Operations Certificate for the unit. This is referred to as Capacity. Within the tests we performed on the indvidual demand site, the speed of response and the capability for the various DS3 services were analysed. The DS3 products need to be proven to enable associated System Services provision. We submitted separate reports on the DS3 service capability of the customer's site, through its use of the 1MW Battery and the generators.

The Capacity of the individual demand site is aggregated into the units and that portfolio is bid into the Capacity Market Auctions which cover up to four years in the future. The DS3 services are also aggregated into the units and that capability can be adjusted every 6 months. We were able to obtain an MEC to cover the full 1MW battery operation, should the site consumption be below the 1MW capability of the battery. This ensured that the DS3 services remained available to support the electricity system and assist in the development of renewable generation on the island.

Site specifications

The generators can sustain the full site consumption. The 1MW Battery can also sustain the site consumption until the generators take over, for a longer period of ‘loss of grid’. Operational Certificate Capacity – 1.050MW DSU Run Hour Capability – 2-hours DS3 Service Volumes – FFR (1MW), POR (1MW), SOR (1MW), TOR2 (1.050MW), RRD (1.050MW) and RM1 (1.050MW).

The DS3 services are designed to respond to a drop in the system frequency, which is normally 50Hz. The faster they respond to the drop then the better the support to the electricity system.