Large-scale users and producers of energy cannot just plug their cables into the wall and expect things to work. For the volume of electricity they use (or produce), special infrastructure and contracts are necessary. Sometimes, this causes unnecessary costs and inflexibility for businesses. Fudura is looking for solutions that can help alleviate these kind of problems.
Peak volume and contracted transport capacity
Larger businesses agree on a contracted transport capacity with their grid operator. This is the capacity the grid operator reserves in its electricity network and the maximum peak load available to the business to prevent the network from overload. If the energy demand of a business exceeds its contracted transport capacity, the grid operator will automatically increase the contracted transport capacity and/or charge a penalty. Both result in higher network costs for the business and for larger businesses these can be significant. The contracted transport capacity is typically based on the expected peak load for a business in the coming year. In practice, however, for many large consumers and multisites, the contracted transport capacity is usually higher than the peak load that occurs. This implies that they structurally pay more network costs than necessary. Also, there is an opportunity for businesses to apply peak shaving in order to eliminate peaks in their energy demand. If the contracted transport capacity of a business is based on a peak volume that rarely occurs, it is worth investigating whether business processes can be adjusted with the aim to automatically spread this volume so that the contract transport capacity can be decreased, resulting in lower network costs. Next to network costs, businesses with a volatile energy consumption sometimes pay a higher price per kWh for their energy usage than companies with a stable consumption. Peak shaving their energy demand into a more constant profile will reduce direct energy costs too.
There are also situations where increasing the contracted transport capacity is not possible. Here, the business and grid operator run up against the physical limitations of the network and additional infrastructure is needed, usually grid reinforcements. This poses a business problem. For example, if a car-making business is selling a lot of cars, they might want to ramp up their production capacity and energy demand. Or, conversely, if a business wants to meet their sustainability targets and receives subsidies to do so, they might want to install a significant amount of solar panels and increase their energy production. However, because they have to wait for the right infrastructure be put in place to meet their energy demand / production, they cannot seize the opportunity. However, if you combine the energy needs of multiple businesses in the same area, there may not be a need for creating additional infrastructure. If, for example, one factory uses a lot of energy during the day while another factory uses energy mainly during the night, these two could use the same infrastructure. Or, if two adjacent businesses have energy intensive processes that can be arranged consecutively, there might be no need for additional infrastructure. Hence, there lies an opportunity in combining energy data on production, consumption and timing from different local businesses to make more efficient use of energy infrastructure and resources.
Fudura is looking for solutions that allow them to cleverly use their clients' energy data to optimize usage of existing energy infrastructure, thereby providing flexibility to their clients by making them less reliant on the grid operator for their energy needs.
Please note: out of scope for this challenge; solutions that enable the trading on energy markets.
We are Fudura. Fudura believes in a world that uses energy efficiently and fairly. Every day, we help about 25,000 customers with their energy performance, improving it and making it more sustainable through providing consumption insights and providing energy infrastructure. We provide energy infrastructure such as transformers, metering equipment, switchgear and charging points for electric vehicles to our customers. Through our accurate metering services and as a recognised metering company, we provide direct insight into the energy consumption for businesses. We have been doing this for decades, which is why we know the Dutch energy infrastructure like the back of our hand. Every day, our 300 specialists are working on the current and future energy infrastructure.
This program is supported by a wide array of different roles within Fudura. Ultimately, Fudura is looking to start one or more pilots and, if successful, roll out a new proposition to its clients.
nlmtd and TNW are helping Fudura with this innovation project and will also assist applicants if need be.
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