Red Eléctrica de España (REE) and Ente Vasco de la Energía (EVE) have reached an agreement to develop a pilot project in which they seek to involve industrial SMEs in the Basque Country in the demand management of the Spanish electricity system. For this, they will furnish these companies with the technology necessary to offer services for system operation, which will improve the efficiency of the electricity system by equipping it with a new operation tool. This pilot project will be developed over for one year and will require an estimated investment of €510,000.
The project seeks to evaluate the technical feasibility in order to qualify demand management services in Basque Country industrial SMEs, in a way similar to that in which large industries already participate in the electricity system energy demand management.
The demand management services allow the adjustment of the energy consumed at every moment without the need to increase electricity generation at times of peak demand. To accomplish this, the electricity system counts on the participation of companies which make a part of their electricity consumption available to the entirety of the system, as and when circumstances require it.
To date, it was exclusively large industries that had the possibility of offering these services for the operation of the electricity system. However, the majority of the Basque industries are SMEs whose consumption is noteworthy when considered as a whole, but extremely fragmented and non-visible for the electricity system when considered individually. For this reason, the companies that participate in this project will be equipped with metering and communication systems that integrate into a node or Demand Control Centre (CECODE) and therefore provide demand management services.
By means of this service, electricity demand can be managed, in an aggregate fashion, as a resource offered by SMEs that will make a part of the energy they consume available to the system operator (REE).
The pilot project shall be developed in the following stages: design and specifications of metering and communication equipment; acquisition and installation of the equipment; implementation of the service, running of tests and, finally, analysis of results and the drafting of procedures.
These stages, as a whole, shall be carried out over a period of one year and the results obtained should permit the technical feasibility of these services for SMEs to be verified, as well as to structure the necessary procedures for its integration as a service for system operation. In total, 510,000 euros will be invested, of which 48% will be contributed by REE, 26% by EVE, and the remaining 26% by the participating companies.