Simply Energy signs 2MW interruptible load deal with Alliance

Simply Energy announced today a 2MW interruptible load deal with leading food and solutions co-operative Alliance Group as the company expands its demand flexibility reserves programme to the South Island.

Simply Energy’s Head of Sustainable Solutions, James Carberry, says there is considerable potential to bolster reserves in the South Island due to its substantial industrial loads.

The company, which pays customers for allowing their load to be interrupted, has 50 customers participating in the programme contributing 20MW of combined average load to New Zealand’s electricity reserves market.

The load will be provided from Alliance’s Lorneville site, which operates one of the largest refrigeration plants in New Zealand, supplementing 0.4MW of participating load from its North Island, Dannevirke site.

“2MW is a significant contribution, making Lorneville the single biggest participating site in our Simply Flex programme to date.”

Carberry says small changes to how customers use electricity can have a significant impact.

“Any business with equipment that can respond within 1 second and turn off for up to 30 minutes can participate in Grid Response and contribute to a more resilient and sustainable electricity system through our Simply Flex programme.”

Carberry says that utilising interruptible industrial load is a cost-effective and low-carbon approach to providing reserves.

“Turning off flexible load for short periods is more efficient than using electricity-generating units to provide reserves, which can sometimes be inefficient. This approach can also help to reduce the need for expensive alternatives, such as battery storage.

Alliance Group interim Chief Executive Willie Wiese says Alliance Group is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.

“In 2019, Alliance set a goal of ending the use of coal at our plants within 10 years and securing a low emissions future for the co-operative, and we are well on track to deliver on this ambition.

“We are leading New Zealand’s red meat sector with our ambitious decarbonisation programme and have been pioneering several New Zealand-first investments and supply agreements.

“A series of investments already approved will reduce our footprint by 37% from the 2018 baseline.

“Participating in Simply’s Grid Response was an easy choice and part of our goal to decarbonise each of our seven processing plants through our Energy Transition Pathway.

“It allows us to contribute to a more resilient grid without disrupting operations as the technology does all the hard work.”

Carberry says Simply Energy is also growing its demand flexibility programme in other ways. As well as offering Grid Response, it uses the technology behind the programme to enable Price Response whereby customers can shift consumption away from peak times when electricity is typically more expensive and has a higher carbon footprint.

“Giving customers the ability to save costs and carbon, and even earn money, by automatically modifying their electricity consumption makes the most of every opportunity to achieve New Zealand’s goal of a 100% renewable grid.

“Flexibility becomes increasingly important as electricity demand grows for decarbonising heat and transport, and more intermittent energy sources, such as wind and solar, come online.

“We’re excited that Alliance is part of a growing number of businesses choosing to join the programme. It’s a great example of how the individual efforts of businesses, coming together as a force for good, can help support the stability and transition of our evolving electricity system.”

Simply Energy

100% owned by Contact, Simply Energy is New Zealand’s only dedicated energy solutions provider to the commercial and industrial sectors. Its focus is accelerating the transition to cleaner energy through advisory services, flexible energy supply arrangements and smart technologies that encourage more sustainable energy use.

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