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Open Energi and Ørsted combine for UK’s first AI-powered flexibility platform rollout

Aggregate Industries' site near Heathrow, which is one of the company's 8 participating in the flexibility platform. Image: Open Energi.

Aggregate Industries' site near Heathrow, which is one of the company's 8 participating in the flexibility platform. Image: Open Energi.

Aggregate Industries has become the UK's first adopter of an AI-powered flexibility platform thanks to a partnership between Open Energi and its electricity supplier, Ørsted.

The two energy companies have combined to take Aggregate Industries into the imbalance market, where it will receive revenue from National Grid in exchange for reducing its energy demand when requested.

Open Energi has connected 30 of Aggregate Industries’ bitumen tanks, spread across eight sites, to its Dynamic Demand 2.0 platform. It uses artificial intelligence to automatically optimise energy usage owing to a number of factors including wholesale and peak charging prices, frequency fluctuations and system imbalances.

That platform will work in tandem with Ørsted’s Renewable Balancing Reserve product which enables the end users to access the imbalance market. Open Energi and Ørsted have collaborated to automate the process and, as a result, Aggregate Industries is responding to an average of three 30-minute balancing reserve calls per day.

Aggregate Industries now intends to rollout Dynamic Demand 2.0 to 48 asphalt plants across the country, providing a total of 4.5MW of demand flexibility to the national grid.

David Hill, commercial director at Open Energi, said that increased volatility in the imbalance market had created valuable arbitrage opportunities for businesses capable of reducing their demand for short periods of time.

“By stacking value streams and automating participation, Dynamic Demand 2.0 ensures Aggregate Industries maximises the financial benefit of its demand flexibility. Scaled up, this pioneering approach will have a huge impact on the way our energy system operates, paving the way for a smarter, cleaner, more affordable energy system,” he added.

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