Kiwi Power opens up smart grid opportunities to businesses small and large

Kiwi Power is saving business money and reducing constraints on the national electricity grid through its roll out of demand response solutions

What’s the background? KiWi Power was founded in 2009 with the purpose to commercialize the smart grid opportunities for businesses of all size within the demand side management market. The company’s core business is developing bespoke demand response strategies that add significant value at no cost or risk.

KiWi’s objectives:

  • To reduce the constraints on the National Grid network, including more localized constrained substations through the distribution network operators. Without this, we face significant blackouts.
  • To eliminate the need for switching on peaking power stations which are five times more polluting than conventional power stations.
  • To generate recurring revenues for businesses of all sizes.
  • Reduce businesses’ energy costs.
  • Reduce businesses’ carbon footprint.
  • Enable companies to reduce their exposure to existing energy consumption costs, eg TRIAD avoidance and Red Zone management.
  • Improve the resilience and reliability of business’ standby power assets.
  • To generate a return on investment for companies investment in standby power assets. Previously, these were sunk costs.

Give us the low-down on how the initiative was implemented KiWi prides itself on gaining intimate knowledge of client’s sites and operations and follows best practise methods to ensure strategies and a strategic fit.

We analyse a client’s energy consumption and profile it against the demand response program parameters. Moving forward, we hold technical calls with stake holders ahead of conducting a full site assessment with both the onsite engineering teams and kiwi engineers. We then design the DR strategy to ensure successful performance.

Once the strategy is agreed, we follow best practises for all our project management plans, eg PRINCE II. We conduct rigorous calibration and testing, and conduct an in-depth training programme with management as well as the champions on the ground.

We have developed proprietary software that enables clients to monitor their progress and ensure a complete understanding of their journey through DR.

We provide various monitoring and reporting features to ensure clients are knowledgeable about demand response and indeed their success stories. KiWi gets paid by the National Grid to reduce electricity consumption at our client’s sites at time of peak demand, as it is cheaper and substantially less polluting than using existing inefficient power stations.

To date, we have signed up over 100MW of demand side response across different types of businesses and implemented our system at dozens of medium and large-sized UK sites.

What impact has your initiative had on your business and the environment? The entire community benefits from both a cheaper and greener mix of energy on the electrical grid. Peaking power is typically generated by diesel, oil and other high emission technologies.

Requirements to maintain ‘spinning’ reserves in the form of standby generation plants, is a costly and environmentally damaging balancing method.

These negative impacts can be reduced with the introduction of demand response as a reserves resource. In addition, avoidance of more expensive energy resources help keep the cost of peak power lower for all consumers on the grid.

Our technology to enable demand response is a completely original and fit for purpose system with proprietary software. We have developed hardware systems in-house, sourcing various best of breed components.

Our end-users benefit from payments from the National Grid, improved green credentials and better energy intelligence. Our service is free to sign up to. To enable this, KiWi utilizes existing technologies with our proprietary software and packages them in new ways to delight our clients. This includes smart meters, wireless data systems and custom dashboard software, which provide relevant energy intelligence data to our clients at no cost. In the past year we have signed up and implemented our system at dozens of medium and large-sized UK sites.

And why does your story deserve to win a 2degrees Solution of the Year award? Contractually, we’ve made demand response very simple for businesses to sign up to through non-binding agreements. Kiwi absorbs all the risks.

Our smart metering allows businesses to receive accurate information, previously only accessible in half hourly data and day +1.

We have identified spikes in energy consumption on a site lasting 23 minutes, which would not be identified on half-hourly data.

KiWi has invested significant time in developing the relationships with our partners. Through these relationships, we are now able to accelerate essential engineering modifications for clients under cash flow positive financial models. This ensures there is no delay to raising capital for these works, and ensures no impact on a clients’ balance sheet.

We are in constant communications with our clients, ensuring we gain regular feedback for our service. This enables us to understand our clients’ business developments plans, align them to the various DR opportunities and advise the business on key considerations. For example, where they locate their premises can have major impacts on costs to procure power for the site.

Unique in the industry, we deliver immediate performance reports after each and every demand response event, rather than waiting at the end of each month.

This article forms KiWi Power’s submission into the Solution of the Year category of the 2degrees Sustainability Champions Awards 2013. It was written and submitted by Meena Sedani, office manager and executive assistant to ceos, KiWi Power.

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