Upside Energy signs demand side response deal with EDF Energy

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EDF Energy has paved the way for its business customers to access additional revenue streams traditionally associated with generators and large suppliers, after signing a deal with Upside Energy.

Through the partnership, Upside Energy’s cloud-based platform will be used alongside EDF Energy’s PowerShift flexibility platform, to give customers access to markets in which to sell their excess energy.

Providing real-time data and advanced forecasting, the Upside Platform will enable EDF Energy, the largest supplier to UK business, to enhance its offering to its business customers and dispatch demand-side flexibility in real-time, in the same way that it dispatches generation.

Commenting on the partnership, Jean-Benoit Ritz, Director of Innovation and Blue Lab at EDF Energy, said: “Balancing our energy use is increasingly critical as the UK transitions to a low carbon future. This is why demand side response (DSR) schemes have a growing role in ensuring that electricity is there when we need it, whilst reducing our reliance on less efficient forms of generation to meet short-term peaks of demand.

“PowerShift gives our business customers better access to DSR schemes, allowing them to pool their own sources of energy generation and adjust their energy use in response to demand, providing them with new revenue streams, whilst at the same time supporting grid flexibility.”

Many large businesses currently shift their use of energy to avoid peak network charges, but without any visibility for predictive price fluctuations on wholesale markets. Using Upside Energy’s platform, companies can capitalise on energy trading opportunities as they arise.

Through the partnership, EDF Energy customers will have access to the complete range of flexibility opportunities and the company is now rolling out the technology to selected customer sites.

Devrim Celal, CEO of Upside Energy, commented: “We’re delighted to add EDF Energy to our growing customer base.  By using our platform, EDF Energy will not only be able to optimise its position within wholesale markets, but assist its customers to ensure they receive the greatest return on investment – all while supporting the UK electricity grid to run more efficiently, integrate more renewables and cope with times of peak demand.”

According to Devrim, the flexibility within wholesale markets represent a £6bn opportunity, compared to the £1bn annual ancillary services market. He believes that the wholesale market will be increasingly valuable to companies with flexible loads or storage.

“As the UK and nations across the world continue to work towards challenging carbon reduction targets, smart energy management such as ours will become more important than ever before. Early adopters, such as EDF Energy, are likely to reap the greatest long term benefit.”

The announcement coincides with the launch of the government’s latest climate change initiative, Green GB Week. Commenting on the news, Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, said: “The UK has led the world in cutting emissions whilst growing our economy – with clean growth driving incredible innovation and creating hundreds of thousands of high quality jobs.

“Ten years on from the Climate Change Act, the first ever Green GB week is a time to build on our successes and explain the huge opportunities for business and young people of a cleaner economy. I’m delighted to see how many more businesses and organisations such as Upside Energy are seizing this multi-billion pound opportunity to energize their communities to tackle the very serious threat of climate change.”

Upside Energy’s platform benefitted from £300k of UK Government funding via Phase 4 of the Energy Entrepreneur Fund (EEF) in 2015. The platform has the capability to manage the demand response of 100,000s of devices or systems running in parallel. The company was awarded a prestigious Ashden Award in June 2018, in the category of Energy Innovation and made the final in last year’s EDF Energy’s Pulse Awards Blue Lab Innovation Challenge.