Actility acquires NL Noodvermogenpool, taking the lead in European demand response

NL Noodvermogenpool with baseline

The Actility Newsroom

Actility acquires NL Noodvermogenpool, taking the lead in European demand response

European Utility Week, Amsterdam, October 2nd: Actility, the industry leader in the Internet of Energy, today announces that it has acquired NL Noodvermogenpool, the largest demand response aggregator in the Netherlands. Combining the market-leading position and expertise of NL Noodvermogenpool with the innovative technology solutions for smart grid developments offered by Actility’s ThingPark Energy platform will create the undisputed leader in European demand response.

“The energy transition is rapidly unfolding across Europe,” says Cedric De Jonghe, who heads Actility’s Energy Business, “and demand response is a key component”. Smart grid developments improve the security of supply whilst an increasing contribution of renewable energy sources is enabled. This transition creates major opportunities to leverage innovative technologies in energy markets.

NL Noodvermogenpool is a pioneer in demand response in the Netherlands. Established in 2011, it has been providing emergency power to the Dutch transmission system operator TenneT since 2012. NL Noodvermogenpool creates an “emergency power pool” which aggregates the capacity of many partner companies to offer additional power to balance the electricity grid. In addition, this aggregation brings direct economic benefits to flexibility suppliers participating into the pool.

This strategic partnership creates a top European player in the market for smart energy management solutions. Actility’s ThingPark Energy platform offers strong smart grid capabilities covering the full range of demand response services, including process modelling for intelligent consumption and large-scale battery projects.

We are very successful in the Dutch market for both upward and downward emergency power. To meet increasing demand in the rapidly changing energy landscape, we needed a strong technology partner. By combining forces with Actility, NL Noodvermogenpool will continue to lead the evolution of smart grid in the Dutch market and expand its partnerships, with future-proof solutions offers.
Jeroen Schut
Manager, NL Noodvermogenpool

We are delighted to join forces with NL Noodvermogenpool, cementing Actility’s strong position in demand response in Europe. This partnership demonstrates the commitment to building strength in sectors where Actility’s innovative technology can be disruptive. Building upon Actility’s leadership in LPWAN IoT networks, this partnership will also enable to rapidly open new use cases for massive demand response applications leveraging thousands of coordinated participants, particularly in the Netherlands where LoRaWAN already spans the entire country.

Olivier Hersent, CTO, Actility Tweet

Actility Smart Energy solution harnesses Orange batteries to secure France’s electricity grid during demand peak

The Actility Newsroom

Actility Smart Energy solution harnesses Orange batteries to secure France’s electricity grid during demand peak

French consumers and industry have been protected from power outages on several occasions this winter by Actility’s Smart Grid technology exploiting the capacity of thousands of batteries at Orange locations across France to mitigate the effects of high demand peaks and associated power surges. Actility has been working with Orange, RTE, the largest Transmission System Operator (TSO) in Europe, and Enedis, the largest French Distribution System Operator, to provide and activate a “clean demand response” capability in response to spikes in energy demand. The system has been called into action several times already, achieving a temporary demand reduction of 10MW initially, and more recently reaching 15MW.

“These successful interventions on over 7000 sites in a matter of minutes, clearly demonstrate the power of a Smart Grid enabled by the intelligence of the IoT to enhance the capabilities and resilience of the electricity transmission system and to protect its customers,” comments Actility CTO Olivier Hersent. “We’re also creating a new opportunity for Orange to create value from its back-up capacity, which is normally a rarely-used ‘insurance policy’.”

“To prepare tomorrow’s grid, combining electricity and digital, RTE is developing innovative market mechanisms,” says RTE’s Sales Manager for Market Services, Laurent Lamy. “The aim is to enlarge the scope of solutions that could provide balancing services. The use of these existing batteries is one good example of new type of flexibility having a positive impact on power system balance. We are satisfied that our clients take all business opportunities from services developed in France”.

“At Enedis, as a DSO, we are committed to facilitating market participation of distributed energy resources and we are pleased to enable this Actility and Orange initiative that illustrates the evolution of the energy system: decentralized and customer-centred” says Emmanuel Husson, Director of Customers and Markets at Enedis. “At the intersection of digitalization and the electricity system, such smart grid innovation will be fostered by the ongoing roll out of smart metering, and new business models will be triggered, relying on consumer empowerment and new technologies.”

Orange has over 7000 fixed telephone relay stations and broadband internet routing sites which are essential to the operation of the company’s networks. Sustained operations are guaranteed during power outages, thanks to a high-capacity array of small back-up batteries installed at each site. The battery stores sufficient energy to  keep the site operational for an extended period without external power supply. RTE, the French TSO, sends load curtailment requests to Actility in case of unexpected demand surges. 

Actility’s Smart Grid application translates those requests into control requests to the Orange sites. The local energy management systems switch over from distribution grid supply to using a maximum of 50% of the energy stored in the battery, maintaining the resilience of the site. The system responds within 9 minutes and supports the grid for up to one hour, and the process can be repeated if required.

To track possible impact on battery lifetime cost-effectively, Actility concentrates on the monitoring only a few parameters of the battery behaviour. Using dedicated algorithms, Actility could prove the accuracy and reliability of impact tracking across multiple sites, preventing the need to install dedicated hardware. Given the vast number of sites involved, this  significantly reduced implementation and run costs.

“We’re dealing with thousands of essential sites, so we can’t afford any mistakes,” comments Cedric De Jonghe, Manager of Actility’s Energy Business Unit. “We have to take all of Orange’s constraints into account in real time,  including the fact that some sites may not be available to us. What’s particularly interesting about this project is that instead of starting a diesel generator, we are switching to batteries, a  “green curtailment” which of course is much better in times of climate change and a new awareness of the impact of pollution.”

“We would like to welcome Actility’s initiative for its pioneering activity in Europe, which places France to the forefront of distributed energy resources management and energy storage innovation worldwide”, adds Cedric Thoma, responsible for smart grids, hydrogen and energy storage with the French Energy Ministry.

GET Wireless selects Actility to power national LoRaWAN network in Tunisia

Get wireless logo

The Actility Newsroom

GET Wireless selects Actility to power national LoRaWAN network in Tunisia

Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN), and GET Wireless, North Africa’s leading network system integrator, today announced their partnership to develop a large scale IoT communication network in Tunisia, based on LoRaWAN™ technology and powered by the ThingPark platform. As a leader in integrating solutions and value added services for network operators throughout the Maghreb region, GET Wireless will be creating a platform for its customers to support applications ranging from smart grid to waste management and e-health.

“With the Tunisian IoT market now opened up for development by Mincom, the way is clear for our customers to begin to deploy services, which they want to do as swiftly and efficiently as possible to take advantage of this new market,” said Malek Ben Jalel, VP Presales of Get Wireless. “We believe that Actility’s platform will allow us to quickly install and easily maintain a best in class product for our customers. Actility has the experience gained as a founding member of the LoRa Alliance and a veteran of many large scale network rollouts worldwide, which gives us confidence in its ability to deliver the best solutions, and the value of its shared insight into successful business strategies for the IoT.”

“We’re very excited to be working with GET Wireless to begin the deployment of a large-scale LPWA network in Tunisia,” said Actility CEO Mike Mulica. “The entire continent is gearing up to provide smart services founded on the intelligence offered by the IoT powered by our ThingPark platform. The ability of the IoT to improve the quality of life for everyone is widely recognised throughout Africa, and the region is fast becoming one of the leading engines for IoT adoption and growth worldwide. We’re convinced that GET Wireless, with its experience in delivering customer solutions and portfolio of leading technology partners, is well placed to accelerate the deployment of IoT solutions in Tunisia and beyond.”

GET Wireless is expecting to see its customers deploying IoT solutions in smart grid, for metering and managing energy demand and distribution capacity, in waste management, where the location capabilities of networks powered by the ThingPark platform will enable management and optimization of waste collection routes in real time, and in e-health. As the first Actility Gold Partner in Africa, GET Wireless will focus on delivering what is best for our customers in our area.

Actility activates Demand Response to balance the Belgian grid following a sudden electricity shortage on Wednesday 19 October

Wind power generated infographics

The Actility Newsroom

Actility activates Demand Response to balance the Belgian grid following a sudden electricity shortage on Wednesday 19 October

Actility, a leading provider of Smart Demand Response aggregation services, has succesfully supported the Belgian electricity grid to recover from a sudden lack of electricity this 19 October.

On 19 October, an electricity shortage of no less than 750 MW had been monitored in the Belgian grid by Elia, the Transmission Grid Operator.

For being able to balance the electricity grid, Elia requires flexible power stations to increase their power output. In addition, they also call upon flexible consumers to reduce their power consumption. This is referred to as Demand Response. Actility successfully responded to such call for Demand Response on Wednesday, thanks to the efforts of its numerous partners in the industrial sectors such as metallurgy, chemistry and pharmaceuticals, food & beverages but also in the tertiary sectors, mainly in banks or hospitals.

Actility’s partners provide such efforts to reduce their consumption only a few hours per year, but get paid during every hour of the year where this flexibility is available. This results in interesting revenues and is a cost reduction in energy sourcing. Furthermore, it provides a crucial support to the Belgian Grid, for being able to balance generation from clean technologies such as wind and solar power.

The  main cause of the call for flexibility on 19 October originated from a sudden drop of the electricity generated by the belgian wind mills. This drop in power was the consequence of decreased wind speed coming from the North Sea, which is per say no abnormal meteorogical event. Yet, the drop occurred in less than one hour. This resulted in a sudden shortage of about 650 MW, which is equivalent to the loss of two large gas power stations of belgium (figure 1).

Wind power generated infographics

Furthermore, this sudden shortage was concomitant with a higher than expected evening peak in electricity demand and little available generation capacity in Belgium. Today, only 2400 MW of the installed 5800 MW nuclear capacity is operational .

Altogether, this led Elia to activate all the flexible resources that were still available to compensate for this sudden imbalance. Elia even asked, via aggregator Actility, industrial sites to reduce their energy offtake from the grid, though the activation of the special balancing mechanism called R3-DP (Tertiary Reserve “dynamic profile”). This tertiary reserve product is specifically designed for demand response via industrial processes.

It is not the first time Actility is trusted to handle difficult cases on the electricity grid. The company has delivered serveral successful DR activations in the past years in the Benelux, France and the UK.  The innovative services provided by Actility are based on their strong expertise of ICT and the energy sector. Their proven track record in the field of energy and the Internet of Things has even been awarded earlier this week as start-up of the year by Ernst & Young.

Do not hesitate to visit our website for more information : http://energy.actility.com

Actility wins calls for tenders to secure the French grid

The Actility Newsroom

Actility wins calls for tenders to secure the French grid

It is the fourth time that Actility has been awarded this role, registering an increasing volume of capacity for this year.
 

Actility laureate of RTE RR/RC call for tenders to secure the French grid

As announced by RTE to the laureates early February, the procurement of fast operating reserve has just been concluded. This product aims at fullfilling RTE’s European obligation of restoring production/consumption balance in less than 15min, a situation that may especially occur when a large production unit experiences a failure.

Actility has been awarded major lots on this tendering event for the third time, and will use stationary storage systems for the first time to back its engagements up.

This critical power will be available to RTE from April to December, and another tender is expected late September for the procurement of reserve in 2017.

Actility wins RTE AOE call for tenders to secure the French grid

In response to the call for tenders launched by the French transmission system operator RTE and finalized in December 2015, Actility has been selected amongst six other European demand response experts, to secure the French electricity grid in 2016. This particular product aims at securing operation margins from consumers at a better price than those from production units.
It is the fourth time that Actility has been awarded this role, registering an increasing volume of capacity for this year. Actility will be responsible for assuring power and energy back-up using the flexibility from industrial sites to sustain the electricity system in case of dire needs. This happens via Actility’s service platform on which many diverse types of industrial loads, ranging from cold storage warehouses to steel making factories offer their flexibility.

For more information, please consult RTE’s website (article in French)