Power station for industry at dusk

Overcoming barriers: the role of Industries in Ancillary Services

Written by Abigail Speak

Power systems are undergoing major transitions that create new challenges in maintaining reliable energy supply and ensuring continued operational safety. Existing power systems are being challenged to meet a new set of requirements, driven by increased levels of variable renewable energy production, trends towards increased urbanisation and electrification of transport and industry.

Ensuring security of supply and reliability of operations are the main concerns of power system operators during this major transition and part of the solution will certainly be the provision of ancillary services from untapped industry sources. Ancillary Service Provision Methods have the potential to facilitate the utilisation of industrial resources.

Ancillary services encompass a variety of operations beyond generation and transmission that are required to maintain grid stability and security. Ancillary services were traditionally provided by centralised large-scale electricity producers, such as nuclear and hydro power plants, which will only offer limited availability within the future power system landscape. New resources capable of providing ancillary services will become essential.

An important factor in ensuring continuously efficient power system operations will be greater involvement of the consumer market in provision of ancillary services. Already today, industrial applications are responsible for a large part of consumption and this is expected to increase due to the electrification of various sectors. Consequently, the technical as well as the economical potential for industry to provide ancillary services is vast.

Most large electricity consumers, such as industry and real estate companies, are already active within energy markets because of the financial benefits of participation. However they do not provide ancillary services, with lack of knowledge often stated as the reason. Despite the well-established potential, more understanding is needed on both sides. Power system operators need to understand more about the technical possibilities in industry and industry players need to understand the needs of the power market.

AFRY experts launched the Ancillary Service Provision Methods project to address this need, with an aim to increase the utilisation of industrial resources in the provision of ancillary services by facilitating the process of connecting system operators with industry.


An introduction to Ancillary Service Provision Methods (ASPM)

The proposed strategy is to illustrate in which ways different industry segments can provide ancillary services. The study proposes the introduction of Ancillary Service Provision Methods (ASPM) to facilitate the procedure of identifying potential processes or equipment that can be used to provide ancillary services. The proposed methods have been evaluated through a set of interviews with industries active in Western Sweden. A set of different characterising industrial processes or equipment have shown their potential to be used to realise various ASPM.

Our investigation highlights five trends in power system development that increase incentives for industries to consider participation in ancillary service provision. The study has shown that linking industrial segments to ancillary services can facilitate a procedure for identifying not only internal processes for industries but also potential providers of ancillary services for power system operators.

For more information contact:

Anne Grevener Steen - Consultant, AFRY Management Consulting

Anne Grevener Steen

Consultant, AFRY Management Consulting

Contact Anne Grevener Steen

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