Hanson embraces demand response approach to energy management

Building materials supplier Hanson UK is pioneering a demand-side response approach to energy management, with the technology being rolled out to 29 of the company's quarries across the country.

The London-based firm, which employs around 3,500 people, has partnered with demand-response aggregator Open Energi to install the ‘Dynamic Demand’ system at 14 of its sites, with another 15 installations planned through a phased rollout.

Using the demand-side response technology, tanks and pumps used to dewater Hanson’s quarries will be able to reduce their energy consumption when UK energy demand exceeds supply, and increase consumption when supply exceeds demand.

The project will deliver around 2MW of flexible capacity to National Grid and support the UK’s integration of more variable renewable energy power sources such as solar and wind.

Smarter approach 

“Our vision is to be recognised as a leading force in the delivery of a low-carbon built environment,” said Hanson UK PR & communications director David Weeks. “Adopting Dynamic Demand is an important part of our drive to embed energy improvements across the business and is helping to build the smarter, more responsive energy system the UK needs to support our transition to a low-carbon economy.”

The demand-side response technology has no impact on Hanson’s equipment performance, and the firm is paid for taking this cleaner, cheaper and smarter approach to grid balancing than peaking power stations.

In addition, Open Energi’s Dynamic Demand system provides sub-second metering data on Hanson’s equipment performance, providing new insight to drive operational efficiencies. Via Open Energi’s customised portal, Hanson UK is able to monitor, manage and compare the performance of sites and assets, helping it to spot maintenance issues, identify energy cost reductions and optimise site resources.

Open Energi’s commercial manager Chris Kimmett said: “Demand response is a game-changing evolution in the way we manage energy, which gives businesses the insight and control they need to decide how, when and from where they consume their energy. We’re delighted to be working with Hanson UK to help it adopt a smarter approach to energy management.”

Demand turn-up 

Demand-side response has been identified as a key solution for future proofing the UK’s electricity grid, with National Grid recently confirming plans to invest up to £400m a year to meet between 30% and 50% of grid-balancing requirements from the demand side by 2020, via its Power Responsive campaign.

Last month, edie reported on a new automated ‘demand turn-up’ service being piloted by National Grid, which could prove to be a significant money-spinner for energy-intensive businesses. Under the new scheme, called Footroom, manufacturers and other industry will be paid to increase energy demand at times when the country’s wind and solar resources are producing more energy than the system can cope with.

In Scotland, a number of green groups, opposition parties and renewable energy industry bodies recently called on the Scottish Government to embrace demand response energy efficiency measures in favour of building more costly and dirty fossil fuel power stations.

And writing in an exclusive article for edie earlier this year, Alastair Martin, chief strategy officer of  demand response company Flextricity, outlined the role of business in developing a robust, reliable demand side response mechanism to fill in for failing power stations across the UK.

Demand response at edie Live 2016

As the gap between supply and demand of energy in the UK becomes ever narrower, a session at the onsite solutions theatre within the edie Live 2016 exhibition in May will explore demand response as a method to drive energy cost savings in your business.

Flextricity’s Alistair Martin, WWFUK’s Emma Pinchbeck and Thamesway Central Milton Keynes’ Sean Rendal will discuss how demand response technology can be used to smooth demand spikes to ensure security of supply and help reinforce the argument for renewable energy generation.

Find out more about edie Live and register to attend for FREE here. 

Luke Nicholls

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie