The high-voltage grid in the Netherlands is reaching it limits – fast. Reports from the market and the media confirm this. With this in mind, HyTEPS would like to challenge everyone to think about the following questions: What does this mean for me? What can I do to create more capacity within my installation? In practice, we see that such questions only arise when management is unable to achieve a specific objective, such as increasing production, due to grid limitations. As long as a production facility keeps running and electricity is not a bottleneck, this topic is not a priority. That’s a pity, because it pays to be prepared for scarcity. How? HyTEPS recommends the following steps.
We regularly see customers launch initiatives to reduce energy consumption. They want to save money, relieve the burden on the grid and postpone expansions. First, you need to map out exactly how and where you can save. Monitoring energy consumption is the foundation for reducing consumption – and lowering costs – but also for optimizing the continuity and safety of power. Monitoring and insight, for example, enables ‘Peak Shaving’ – smoothing out peaks in electricity consumption. By shifting these peaks throughout the day, you can make better use of your grid connections.
Focus on energy management
Once the electricity consumption has been mapped out, it becomes possible to introduce solutions for optimizing electricity purchasing and getting more out of the grid. This can be done, for example, by installing capacitor banks and harmonic filters. In this way we can get much more out of existing systems in a safe, smart and sustainable way – ‘inspansion’, as opposed to ‘expansion’. Unused room in the installation is detected and optimally used, which in many cases results in considerable additional capacity. An immediately deployable solution, which does not require any process changes.
Finding storage solutions
When energy from solar and wind sources is not used right away, it is lost. By storing power and using it at the right times, it becomes possible to expand the capacity of installations without a new connection to the grid. Storage systems store electrical energy for use at a later date, thus relieving the burden on the electricity grid. This also increases flexibility and reliability. Supply and demand are matched in a way that is as energy-efficient as possible.
Shorter payback period
Electricity has become scarcer and more expensive, and this could continue to be the case for some time to come. This scarcity, the lack of connection capacity, and rising costs are proving to be an excellent reason to focus on consumption. Whereas the price of electricity used to rise by a few percentage points a year, some users are now seeing their bills rise by tens of thousands of euros a year. This makes it very interesting to expand – the payback period is suddenly much shorter. Extending an existing installation is cheaper than a new transformer, new distributor, new cables, and fixed monthly costs, for example for capacity with the grid operator.
Installation managers and other technical people often have ideas and insights about inefficient consumption, but it often proves difficult to enter into a dialogue with management. That’s why we like to talk to both the management and technical people, to build a bridge between both parties. For almost every company, a unique, cost-effective and technically advanced solution can be found.