Integrated EMS and PMS turn tulip grower into industrial prosumer on congested grid in the Netherlands
The Netherlands counts more solar panels than people. The massive uptick in solar capacity over the past several years has contributed to a phenomenon known as grid congestion. By providing flexibility resources like energy storage and CHP, prosumers can play an important role in keeping the grid balanced while optimising their own energy procurement—but only if they have the right energy management system (EMS) and power management system (PMS) to orchestrate the complex interactions between their energy assets and the grid. Horticulture Mopabloem turned to Energy Pool for just such a solution.
Industrial prosumers key to overcoming grid congestion amid increasing renewable energy integration
As Europe’s leader when it comes to solar energy capacity, the Netherlands is an excellent testing ground for solutions designed to counter grid congestion, which is what occurs when a grid’s infrastructure like power lines and others cannot handle either too much supply—from solar panels, for instance—or too much demand at any given moment. Congestion can cause efficiency and reliability issues like line losses and blackouts; but it can also keep the cheapest and cleanest energy from getting to exactly where it is needed, when it is needed. Renewable energy production might need to be curtailed at certain times of day, increasing the overall share of fossil-based energy in the mix. Today industrial prosumers are playing an increasing role in removing bottlenecks for a more resilient, sustainable grid. These non-residential users do not produce energy specifically to sell it, but rather for their own consumption. They often invest in assets like thermal or battery-based energy storage systems or CHP engines to maximise self-consumption and to inject any surplus energy back into the grid. Industrial prosumers often operate multi-energy systems. In the Netherlands, the level of complexity is compounded by broader grid congestion issues.
Smart, integrated energy management systems (EMS) major enablers of tomorrow’s prosumers
According to Gartner, energy optimisation and management solutions will be vital to improving energy performance as commercial energy consumers strive to balance short-term spend with their longer-term transformation into prosumers and contributors to a Net Zero energy future. Horticulture Mopabloem turned to Energy Pool for a smart, integrated power management system (PMS) and energy management system (EMS) capable of handling a particularly complex energy system that has to heat the company’s greenhouses and cool its tulip bulb storage refrigerators with:
– Gas-fuelled CHP (combined heat and power) to provide heat and sell surplus electricity on the spot market
– Heat pumps for cooling
– Solar panels
Previously, the company CHP plant was used to generate heat for the facility and electricity for sale on the spot energy market. They wanted to add energy storage, but batteries were cost-prohibitive in the short-term. So, they opted for:
– An e-boiler for power-to-heat,
– Additional water tanks for heat storage
– Potential batteries for FCR (Frequency Containment Reserves) in the future
In terms of Mopabloem’s energy assets and connection to the grid, a number of factors had to be taken into account, including asset characteristics like mechanical constraints on any machines (motor starts, for instance) and caps on how much electricity can be injected into the grid at any given time. Energy Pool’s PMS, implemented in the first phase of the project, provides real-time management of the system’s operation in current market conditions.
Energy Pool’s software offers flexibility market monetisation features that provide advanced forecasting based on data from multiple sources including weather forecasts for projected solar production, market forecasts, and information about stored energy availability on site so that industrial prosumers can make better-informed energy procurement decisions each day despite the intricate arbitration required. The result is increased self-consumption and optimised energy bidding and procurement.
The future of prosumers: participation in flexibility programs
Energy Pool’s software seamlessly integrates local power management, energy optimisation, market optimisation, and flexibility market monetisation. Not only is the solution helping Mopabloem reduce energy costs, but it is also positioning the company as a true prosumer contributing to grid stability and lower GHG emissions. In the future, industrial prosumers like Mopabloem willing to make their distributed flexibility resources available to transmission system operators (TSOs) through incentivised flexibility programs could further increase their revenue.
For Energy Pool, Mopabloem is the industry reference for an integrated EMS and PMS implementation for a commercial prosumer—and one in a particularly complex grid environment.
If you are an industrial or commercial energy consumer, contact Energy Pool today to learn how you can become a prosumer!