NorFlex is about making flexible demand at end users available to the distribution system operator during periods when it has no spare capacity. Agreements to disconnect certain loads at customers can delay or entirely avoid the need for expensive grid upgrades, which in turn helps to reduce the network tariffs paid by customers.
Testing the whole market chain
The trial that has now been carried out involved testing the whole market chain for the purchase and sale of flexibility services. The electricity retailer Ishavskraft provided flexibility at three of its end users, Arendal Municipality, Grimstad Municipality and Agder County Council. The customers made their flexibility available on Enfo’s Flextools platform, and the trading platform NODES was used as the market place for flexibility trading. The distribution system operator Agder Energi Nett bought the flexibility offered by Ishavskraft through Gridtools.
During the test, several kinds of loads, mainly related to ventilation and heating, were disconnected at various customers in Arendal and Grimstad. Disconnecting loads like water heaters, electric underfloor heating and ventilation systems provided the flexibility needed to balance the electrical grid.
Ishavskraft is one of eight so-called aggregators participating in the NorFlex pilot project. Together, these companies and their technology partners are offering flexibility at households and at commercial and industrial customers.
- For the sake of the Norwegian economy, it will be important to develop the flexibility market in parallel with the accelerating electrification of Norway over the coming 10-15 years. As an electricity retailer, we want to be innovative and introduce smart technology to reduce our customers’ electricity bills. We are therefore delighted to have completed this successful test and look forward to learning lots about this market over the remainder of the project, says Geir Dyregrov, the Sales Director at Ishavskraft.
Important innovation project
Rune Hogga is the head of Agder Energi Fleksibilitet, and he emphasises the importance of testing the current technology for flexibility trading.
- NorFlex is an important innovation project for us, so we’re pleased that Ishavskraft has completed a successful end-to-end test. That suggests we’re on the right track, and that we will manage to exploit the flexibility needed by the electric power system to keep investment costs down. Now we’re looking forward to our other partners testing trading in their sources of flexibility, says Rune Hogga.
NorFlex is an innovation project (pilot) in which the energy industry players Agder Energi, Statnett, Glitre Energi and NODES are testing new technologies to encourage smarter electricity consumption. The three-year project has received funding from the state-backed energy fund Enova. With NorFlex, we are studying how we can promote more flexible electricity consumption, by creating a market for buying and selling available power (flexibility services). The project will run until April 2022.