This is a really interesting case study outlining how large energy users making relatively minor tweaks to their demand profile can create huge value in the flexibility market. Supermarkets have a massive energy resource with the number of fridges they operate. All industrial fridges need to go through a defrost cycle once per day so this provides an opportunity for innovative aggregation platforms to co-ordinate this with the requirements of the grid. Matching this downtime to peaks in national electricity demand can create huge value and ease the stresses on the grid network.
This article suggests that if Tesco utilised all of it's fridges in the UK, it could create a virtual battery in the region of 25MW-50MW. That is some serious capacity. The range of industrial processes that can utilise demand response technologies is huge and has the potential to play a significant role in creating a truly smart grid network.
Hundreds of Asda supermarket stores will help power the UK’s electricity system this winter by using their fridges as a virtual battery pack for the energy grid. Britain’s third-largest supermarket chain has signed up 300 stores and 18 distribution depots to schemes which can earn the grocery giant extra revenue while helping to balance the electricity grid. Under the long-term deal with National Grid the supermarket’s nationwide networks of freezer aisles and storage fridges will make up a 13-megawatt power source – enough energy to power about 8,500 homes.