Centrica Business Solutions is building state of the art energy-optimization software to:
- enable flexibility services
- balance grid demand and supply in real time across large geographies
- aggregate batteries and other energy assets at scale to offset grid shortages.
A recent study commissioned by Centrica Business Solutions found that nearly one quarter of Fortune 500 companies have committed to carbon neutrality, 100% renewable power, or other science-based targets by 2030. Centrica itself has committed to becoming a net-zero business by 2045, and helping our customers do the same by 2050.
As people, governments, and organizations commit to and invest in a pathway to net zero, we are seeing unprecedented growth in renewable energy on the grid, combined with a digital revolution, connecting everything in our world in real time.
This rapid increase in renewable and distributed energy generation is both necessary and exciting in terms of our ambitions to reach net zero and cap climate change, but it also introduces risk of grid imbalances that can have material impacts on business costs and grid reliability.
Centrica is taking steps to reach its own net-zero targets, but also helping to build solutions that will support this grid transition, like Virtual Power Plant (VPP) which balances grid demand and supply in real time across large geographies by aggregating unused energy assets to offset grid shortages.
FlexPond™ is a cloud-based VPP and DERMS (software-as-a-service) solution that empowers energy companies to implement and grow innovative flexibility services to battery owners, commercial, industrial and residential customers, while creating Virtual Power Plants that enable utilities to optimize their portfolio and bid into a variety of reserve markets where the most value resides.
It is designed for performing in real-time automated demand response in markets like frequency regulation (e.g., European FCR) and frequency restoration (e.g., European aFRR).
Centrica can also enable multi-asset capabilities by aggregating large storage batteries, industrial demand and generation sites and residential home energy management. This way FlexPond™ creates additional revenue by smartly combining assets, offsetting constraints such as the number of cycles, delivering fast responses, stable energy delivery and a significant reduction in grid disruption.
While FlexPond™ requires 24/7 uptime, high scalability, worldwide connectivity to local electricity markets, and state of the art security and resiliency, AWS provides a perfect platform to host a modern microservice-based, distributed architecture with innovative cloud-based infrastructure.
Centrica leverages AWS Services such as EC2, which provides scalable computing capacity in the cloud and EKS, which is a managed container service to run and scale Kubernetes applications in the cloud or on-premises to provide flexible computing capacity.
Amazon Aurora provides built-in security, continuous backups, serverless compute, up to 15 read replicas, automated multi-Region replication, and integrations with other AWS services for more structured data. AWS datacenters in North America, Europe and Asia provide a global reach with secure, local connectivity in every relevant country through Direct Connect or managed VPN. A spectrum of AWS native security tools monitor the FlexPond™ security posture, while IAM and Cognito provide secure access controls.
Last but not least, a large number of 3rd party services, offered through AWS marketplace can seamlessly be integrated with any AWS deployment.
FlexPond™ key functionalities include:
Faster response products like Dynamic Containment in the UK or Fast Frequency Response in the Nordics with real-time data streaming and efficient storage of aggregated asset data (up to 0.05 seconds granularity).
Sequential decision making to automatically dispatch all flexible units, within control boundaries and automatic pool recalibration combining state-of-the art data science and operations research.
Multi-market trading: Combining ancillary services, wholesale trading and behind the meter optimization by value stacking the highest probability of revenue for our customers under volatile and uncertain market conditions.
Current results have demonstrated that:
Centrica technology maximizes Battery operation bringing its customers 25% more value compared to standalone storage.
Trading algorithms are optimized with +85% accuracy.
Aggregation algorithms result into 50% more power available.
About Centrica Business Solutions:
Centrica Business Solutions delivers integrated energy solutions that balance profitability and sustainability. By bringing together the right combination of technologies and approaches, we help organisations get the most from their energy and drive the most value from their energy infrastructure – helping you to solve their energy challenges and harness new opportunities in a changing world. We work with organisations in over 34 countries including the UK, Ireland, Europe and North America, and our energy assets are growing: we’re building a 900MW portfolio of solar and battery storage assets over the next five years to help to transform the UK’s energy landscape. These investments will connect some of the country’s biggest businesses to zero-carbon solar energy; while using battery storage to help the grid manage the challenges of moving towards intermittent renewable energy generation.
About Amazon Web Services (AWS):
AWS is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 200 fully featured services from data centers globally. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—are using AWS to lower costs, become more agile, and innovate faster. AWS brings deep industry expertise across energy, utilities, and sustainable energy sectors. with the broadest energy partner ecosystem. See more.