DSR and critical sites: new white paper launched at The Energyst Event


A new white paper, ‘Mission critical sites and DSR: turned on or tuned off?’ has been launched at The Energyst Event, in Birmingham, which looks at the challenges and opportunities, technical requirements and legislation around demand-side response for mission critical facilities.

Held at the Motorcycle Museum (17-18 April), a panelist of expert speakers gathered to discuss the barriers to DSR, potential revenue streams and factors that could increase uptake among critical sites. Chaired by Mark Acton, CBRE Data Centre Solutions, the session considered the question: ‘Are critical sites switched on to flexibility provision?’

As energy-related failures can cost businesses as much as 17% of their annual revenue, the case for energy storage solutions to offer flexibility, reliability, security of supply and resilience, to organisations and the grid alike, is transparent and growing. Sites with back-up power are ideally positioned to help stabilise the grid, but, historically, they have been slow to come on board with grid balancing schemes due to fears over risk and loss of of control. However, the tide is starting to turn and critical sites such as hospitals, data centres and utilities are increasingly coming on board with DSR.

Doreen Abeysundra, Fresco Advisory, provided a detailed explanation of the DSR revenue opportunities and highlighted the complexity of the market. There are a plethora of DSR schemes, which endusers can find daunting, and panelists agreed that there is a need to simplify this in the future.

Ari Kurvi, data centre manager at Yandex Oy, Finland, explained that the organisation is engaging with DSR and commented that participation is, in fact, adding to the data centre’s resilience.

He pointed out that a key benefit is the fact that the data centre gets an early warming of any impending issues with the grid. The return on investment has been very quick and the business case has been compelling. Lucrative revenue returns have been generated, while supporting the organisation’s aims around corporate responsibility and renewables. This has been possible while remaining in complete control at all times, overcoming a common concern often raised by critical sites.

Michael Phelan, CEO of GridBeyond, believes that mission critical sites are ideally positioned to help balance the grid and support the use of renewables. “The whole grid is changing; there are a lot more renewables coming on to the grid. The electrical industry is going to have to come up with innovative ways to integrate renewables and solve the challenges that they pose.”

He believes that mission critical sites should take the lead, as participation can increase their resilience. However, he added that sharing case studies and education will be important to building confidence and increasing uptake in the future. Download the white paper here.



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