Demand response — turning down building energy loads en masse to help balance the power grid — has traditionally been a top-down, utility controlled affair. Where markets for it exist, they’re centered on grid-specific needs, from reducing emergency peak loads, to joining generators in day-to-day, minute by minute energy balancing markets.
But offices, factories, stores and other buildings have their own energy imperatives, mainly to keep running and making money, no matter what. From their perspective, efficiency and demand response are just one of a number of tools at hand to manage energy costs — and for big corporate or government energy users, a big part of managing energy cost is managing energy risk.
In Europe, where green energy, carbon reduction mandates and nuclear power phase-outs are pushing more and more volatility into the grid, those risks are growing. It would be nice if all the smart building energy controls being installed to help the grid could also help their owner reap rewards in future energy markets, by fine-tuning energy use across multiple sites from day to day to meet this new volatility.
Reactive Technologies says it has created the software platform to accomplish this. Last month, the Oxford-based startup launched its Tradenergy platform, a cloud-based software suite that integrates with building control systems down to individual fans, pumps, chillers and other building loads, and delivers that real-time visibility and control to the trading desks of big UK energy retailers.
Reactive Technologies has been working with “major energy suppliers” in the country, co-founder Mark Borrett told me in an interview last week, in “national trials with some of the largest UK energy consumers, typically in the retail sector.” While he didn’t name partners, he did describe the projects as being “on an industrial scale,” with sites including supermarkets, office buildings, warehouses and other building types.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc