https://orcid.org/ 0000-0001-5202-3421

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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© Authors 2021

APC was funded by Science Foundation Ireland


Increasing the level and diversifying the sources of flexible capacity available to transmission system operators will be a pivotal factor for maintaining reliable control of national electricity grids. These response capacities are widely available; however, one area with large capacities that could benefit from advancements is the industrial sector. This sector’s highly regulated nature ensures that structured procedures and thorough investigations are required to implement significant change. This study presents a systematic methodology to effectively categorise assets and evaluate their perceived risk of participation in demand response, allowing industries to present a sustainable portfolio of flexible capacity to the grid. Following implementation on an internationally relevant industrial site, this methodology identified several assets for participation, determining that it is realistic to expect 35 to 75 kW of flexible capacity from only air handling units on a single site. A selected unit was further evaluated using an internal air-temperature modelling tool. This demonstrated its ability to respond safely to the actual 2019 and 2020 grid frequency events and even remain off, at no risk to the indoor thermal environment for at least 20 min in each case. The potential impact of advancing industrial participation is presented, with the highest scenario providing almost 15 MW of flexible capacity to the Irish national grid. The financial benefit achievable on a site from the most conservative assets was found to be between EUR 993 and EUR 2129 annually for a single response category and up to EUR 6563 based on payment multipliers. Overall, this research demonstrates the significant flexible capacities available within the industrial sector and illustrates the low-risk capabilities and considerable benefits achievable on a single site and for the wider national electricity grids with this concept