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5 skills you should master as a UX Designer in the Tech Energy Industry

The new tech energy revolution is here, there is no doubt about it. Change is happening and the old massive power plants are being sentenced to death. This is through a combination of factors such as a legacy of undynamic infrastructure too large to change and innovate and the world is beginning to realise the importance of a sustainable and clean way to generate energy. This, however, does not mean that this transition will be easy or fast. The energy market is extremely complex and adding new intermittent renewable energy sources into the mix is making it even tougher to decipher. Where once industry knowledge and power were centralised, and as a result, monopolised, there is now an increasing number of relevant players with their own energy offerings, accurate or not.

Nowadays, this complexity can only be managed by using tech to digitalise the industry. Thus, the number of digital products available is rapidly growing and the user experience around them is becoming a key piece in their success. Yes, UX rules!

As a UX & Product Design Lead at Limejump, I have identified that even though the industry offerings share similarities, when talking about user experience; the tech energy industry needs a clear focus on specific UX skills.

When you talk about user experience, everything sounds like science fiction. The coded initials (UX, IA, ID, UCD, etc.), the technical jargon, the tools we use. By UX skills I don’t mean our ability to fly or destroy walls with your laser vision. Do not underestimate them though! Your superpowers, as a key member of your business, provide your company with superior skills to elevate your business above your rivals.

 

 

1. Facilitation, facilitation and facilitation

 

Office workshop

 

I bet a lot of your colleagues think about a UX Designer and say things like, – Oh yeah and then (insert your name here) will make it look pretty! They usually have the idea of a designer working in their own world, producing magic on screen or paper as another step in the process chain… but you and I know the truth.

UX is not magic and UXers are not wizards. None of the user experience techniques tell us what solution to design, and how to do it. All we do is to facilitate discussion, provide a shared understanding and prove our assumptions wrong. By doing this iteratively we move closer and closer to the right solution.

Obviously, you won’t understand everything in the energy market because it is full of regulations, certifications, jargon, mad billing processes, etc. The best assets are within your organisation, people with great knowledge about the product that needs to be designed. We provide them with the necessary tools to express and translate their ideas into a design that does not just look good, but works. 

For instance, as an energy company who provides customers with market access, we designed internal intranets to enhance communication, we translated coded language into clear, usable solutions.

 

“Business people don’t just need to understand designers better; they need to become designers” – Roger Martin

 

 

2. Map experiences and processes like crazy

 

Experience Map

 

Understanding is the first step in every design project. Map your user’s experiences. Create user stories to understand the full picture. Additionally, you will need to map your internal deal flow process and understand the Service Design around the company. What does the deal flow for your product look like? Where are the pain points? How could you improve or alleviate them? How does it affect your customers?

By mapping your organisation’s experiences you are helping everyone understand the complexity of the business, highlighting the importance of collaboration and increasing quality design solutions.

At Limejump we are able to identify common patterns within our products which now allows us to fit new solutions into our processes and systems. This enables us to structure our data, improve our billing process, efficiently manage our customers and issue assets across our entire portfolio.

Tips & resources:
  • Always include the customer experience team (CX, Account Managers, Customer Service) in your mapping sessions.
  • An amazing resource for mapping experiences is James Kalbach’s book: Mapping Experiences.
  • Everything about user stories in User Story Mapping for Jeff Patton.

 

 

3. Start talking the language of the business

 

Trading platform image

 

As professional designers, we need to present our value proposition to the business. We need to understand the industry language and use it ourselves with confidence. Consequently, we should know how to sell too.

Selling a design based purely on how it looks is difficult due to its subjectivity. It is easier once you add the usability research, however, embracing business metrics is key.

There is no better way to justify your design solution than combining the appearance, user research and business value to produce a design solution. This will help you and your company to make better decisions about how to manage your resources and provide the objective results.

 

Tips & resources:
  • Try to spend some quality time with the people who understand business and product (Salespeople, Business analysts, Head of Products, CEOs, etc.) Ask them about how the company makes money, what makes it possible or how a day looks like for them at the company. Believe me, there is no better way to learn.
  • Understand where your business fits and the value of design with Business Model Generation and Value Proposition Design.

 

 

4. Get to know your users and dont assume

 

User interview photo

 

It does not matter if you have a 30-year background in the energy industry, you are not your users. Yes, I agree, you do have industry knowledge. However, your design and solution still an assumption.

Do not forget that you are competing with hundreds of companies globally and every detail counts. Empathy with the end user is vital to understand what do you need to design and how it will make a real difference to your users.

It is critical that you gather enough information about your user’s experiences with your product for you to then formulate your decisions around what they need, not what they want. To make sure you don’t assume, you need to apply proper user research methods before, during and after a product launch.

 

Tips & resources: 

 

 

5. Low fidelity prototypes are your best friends

 

Wireframe sketch

 

Energy startups are fast-paced environments where iteration and adaptation are essential. As the market itself is evolving fast, it forces you to pivot and make important decisions in an insanely short period of time. I think you get the idea.

The need to test is imperative, however, you can’t spend too much time creating mockups and high-fidelity prototypes unless they are mandatory. In my experience, you should create prototypes in the same way you approach MVP (Minimum Valuable Products). For example, why should we spend hours on a clickable prototype if we know our audience will understand it with a quick sketch. It will be a waste of time!

 

Tips & resources: 
  • Don’t let the tools define you. Invest some time getting the concepts right, warm up with some sketches and paper prototypes first.

 

 

Of course, there are dozens of other skills that are necessary for a UX Designer in any industry. It is a must to be; a good listener, work on building a great relationship with your development team, being able to explain your design in front of stakeholders and customers in an effective way, have a great deal of empathy with your users, etc. The list just goes on and on!

This article is just the starting point and provides some quick advice for you to start working on those key areas because you will need them day in and day out. I have been in the design trenches and have seen first-hand, the experience and hard-won knowledge that leads to success. Whether you are a designer currently working in the energy industry, or you are about to make a start in this complex market I hope you find this article useful!

Feel free to share your experiences and thank you for reading!

 

Limejump shortlisted in three categories for the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2018

From Blue Chips to start-ups, some of the UK’s most exciting green businesses will be celebrated at this year’s awards including three nominations for Limejump in the following categories:

  • Entrepreneur of the Year,
  • Small Business of the Year
  • Company of the Year

Source: BusinessGreen

From Blue Chips to start-ups, some of the UK’s most exciting green businesses will be celebrated at this year’s awards

BusinessGreen is today delighted to announce the finalists for the 2018 BusinessGreen Leaders Awards, the UK’s most prestigious celebration of the best of green economy.

We are also pleased to announce one of our keynote speakers at this year’s awards on the evening of June 27th will be Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry.

“This year’s awards were more competitive than ever with a record number of entries across all categories providing a testament to the growing strength and influence of the green economy,” said BusinessGreen editor-in-chief James Murray. “Congratulations to all our finalists and good luck at this year’s awards.”

The year’s gala dinner and awards ceremony will take place in June at the Brewery in central London.

BusinessGreen can also today announce that the charity partner for this year’s awards will be leading solar development charity SolarAid.

Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Erik Nygard, CEO, Limejump
  • Etienne Cadestin, Longevity Partners
  • Joe Warren, Powervault
  • Laurence Kemball-Cook, Pavegen
  • Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO and Founder, OVO
  • Will St Clair, Brook House Woods

Small Business of the Year

  • Brook House Woods
  • Habitat Aid Ltd
  • Kapdaa – The Offcut Company
  • Kebony
  • Limejump
  • Pavegen
  • Top of the Woods
  • Verto Homes
  • Vultus AB

Company of the Year

  • GFG Alliance
  • Limejump
  • Ørsted
  • ReFood UK
  • Tetra Pak 

Consultancy of the Year

  • 3Keel LLP
  • Longevity Partners
  • PE Energy Solutions Limited
  • Sustainable Homes
  • Syzygy Renewables
  • WSP

 

Communications Agency of the Year

  • Barley Communications
  • Browning Environmental
  • Ecuity Consulting LLP
  • Greenhouse PR
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Manufacturer of the Year

  • Epson UK
  • Ibstock Brick
  • ITM Power
  • Kingspan Insulated Panels
  • KYOCERA Document Solutions UK
  • Mars, Incorporated
  • Microtex Products Ltd
  • Van de Sant Innovations BV

Investor of the Year

  • Barclays – Social Innovation Facility
  • Cubico Sustainable Investments
  • Impax Asset Management
  • Legal & General Investment Management
  • Low Carbon Innovation Fund
  • Macquarie Capital
  • NEST – National Employment Savings Trust
  • Octopus Group
  • Sustainable Ventures’ Sustainable Accelerator
  • Triodos Bank

 

Employee Engagement Campaign of the Year

  • Arriva Rail North
  • Belazu Ingredient Company in partnership with Veris Strategies
  • Signol

 

CSR/Marketing/Advertising Campaign of the Year

  • Barclays: Rising to the water challenge
  • Borough Market: Leading the Way on Drinking Fountains
  • Mars Incorporated, Sustainable in a Generation Plan
  • Lloyd’s Register’s Technology Radar – Renewable energy
  • Octopus Energy – 1,000 Tree Promise
  • Ørsted – Love Your Home – Let’s create a world that runs entirely on green energy

 

Environmental Awareness Campaign of the Year

  • Carbon Tracker – 2 Degrees of Separation
  • Climate Disclosure Standards Board – TCFD implementation workshop series
  • Ecosurety and Hubbub – #BringBackHeavyMetal 2017
  • Global Action Plan and Partners – Clean Air Day
  • Hubbub: The Square Mile Challenge
  • Southern Water – The River Itchen Challenge
  • The Carbon Literacy Project
  • The Climate Group – RE100
  • UK Green Building Council – The State of Sustainability in the UK Built Environmen
  • Vivergo FuelsRenewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) Campaign

 

Circular Economy Project of the Year

  • Globechain
  • Just Clear
  • LEAF Social
  • Van de Sant Innovations BV
  • Xanthella Ltd

Digital Project of the Year

  • Ambiental Risk Analytics – FloodFutures
  • Axis Europe Waste Transfer Notes
  • Barclays
  • Cleanfox
  • Cobham plc
  • Global Canopy – SCRIPT (Soft Commodity Risk Platform)
  • Greengame – making sustainable living, the norm.
  • Plan A
  • Vultus AB

 

Green Infrastructure Project of the Year

  • Canary Wharf Group Biodiversity Action Plan
  • eight2o/Thames Water – Mains replacement
  • First Mile – ‘The Sacktory’
  • Macquarie Capital – Markbygden Ett Wind Farm
  • Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd – White Collar Factory
  • Open Energi – South Mimms project: battery storage & EVs
  • ReFood London
  • Source London – London’s largest Electric Vehicle Chargepoint Provider
  • UK Power Networks Services – Sustainable Construction Polyfibre

 

Energy Efficiency Project of the Year

  • BasePower
  • Finn Geotherm
  • International Innovation Services
  • RE:NEW
  • Tuffin Ferraby Taylor & British Property Federation
  • Whitefox Technologies

 

Transport Project of the Year

  • Arriva UK Bus
  • Celtic Renewables Ltd
  • SGN and JGR Transport Ltd
  • Signol
  • UK Power Networks – Black Cab Green

 

Supply Chain Project of the Year

  • BT sustainability contract requirement
  • TerraCycle / Suez / Head & Shoulders (P&G)

Renewable Energy Project of the Year

  • Covanta and GIG waste-to-energy partnership
  • Energy Performance Validation Scheme (EPVS)
  • Highview Power Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) at Pilsworth Landfill Facility
  • Innogy Renewables UK Ltd. – Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm
  • Kerry Menstrie Heat Recovery Project
  • Ørsted – Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm
  • Syzygy Renewables & Landsec – White Rose Shopping Centre solar PV system

 

Innovation of the Year

  • Bulldog Skincare For Men Sugarcane Packaging
  • Epson – PaperLab
  • GFG Alliance – GREENSTEEL
  • Levity Crop Science – Lono fertilizer
  • Lloyds Banking Group, Commercial Banking, Green Loan Initiative
  • Seawater Greenhouse
  • Senergy Innovations
  • UPS Smart Electric Urban Logistics
  • Verv (by Green Running)
  • Quantum Technology Supersensors

 

Sustainability Report of the Year

  • EQ Investors
  • REHAU Sustainability Report 2018

 

Young Sustainability Executive of the Year

  • Emily Moder, SteamaCo
  • Chloe McIvor, Ketchum
  • Dagoberto Cedillos, Open Energi
  • Ismini Dimitriadou, UK Power Networks
  • Josh Egan, Intertek plc
  • Kyle Macneill, Arriva Rail North
  • Dr Laura Daniels, UK Power Networks
  • Simon Messenger, Climate Disclosure Standards Board
  • Tanja Groth, The Carbon Trust

Sustainability Executive of the Year

  • Gillian Harrison, Whitefox Technologies
  • Henning Ohlsson, Epson Europe
  • Julia Barrett, Willmott Dixon
  • Matthew Gorman, Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd

Sustainability Team of the Year

  • Arriva Rail North – Northern’s Environment Team
  • BT – Purposeful Business Team
  • Heathrow – Sustainability, Risk and Reputation Team
  • Landsec’s Sustainability Team
  • National Trust Wales – Fit for the Future
  • RE:NEW

 

Politician of the Year

  • To be announced on the evening

 

Leader of the Year

  • David Symons, WSP
  • Rob Clark, Epson UK
  • Simon Tranter, Willmott Dixon
  • Tanya Davies, Innogy

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • To be announced on the evening

 

 

Limejump Awarded as a Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer 2018

  • Limejump is the only UK based company selected for this prestigious honour

 

  • Innovative companies from around the world recognized for their leadership in clean energy technologies and business transformation

New York, April 9, 2018 – Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) announced its selection of the 2018 New Energy Pioneers – innovators that are revolutionizing the energy, transport, and technology sectors. The winners – listed below – are responding to changes and disruption in the energy system, and are pursuing new opportunities in areas as diverse as storage, EV charging, digitalization, heat recovery, and blockchain. The 2018 New Energy Pioneers have been unveiled today at BNEF’s Future of Energy Summit, in New York City.

By recognizing innovators, BNEF aims to highlight and accelerate the transition that is underway in today’s new energy economy, towards new business models, technologies, market structures and commercial opportunities.

An independent panel of industry experts, assisted by BNEF’s analysts and technology specialists, selected the ten winners from more than 160 applicants from close to 50 countries around the world. Each candidate was assessed against three criteria: technology or business model innovation, and what novelty it brought to the market; evidence of substantive progress in the form of strong commercial partnerships, the distribution channels in place and sales growth; and the potential to scale and have a global impact.

The 2018 New Energy Pioneers are:

  • Limejump (U.K.) is an energy tech company that connects data capabilities and renewable energy generation to the national grid, optimising assets’ value and supporting sustainability using proprietary software to aggregate and manage a distributed fleet of flexible assets.
  • Advanced Microgrid Solutions(U.S.), which designs, develops, and manages portfolios of distributed energy resources providing dynamic grid management and value to wholesale markets.
  • Bidgely (U.S.) is a load disaggregation company that uses machine learning and data analytics to process smart meter data and provide its users with insights about their energy consumption.
  • BURN (Kenya) has designed and manufactured over 370,000 clean cook stoves, improving both air quality and access to power for low-income households.
  • Climeon (Sweden) has commercialized the extraction of electricity from low-temperature heat (70-120 degrees), used in the context of waste heat or geothermal power.
  • Enbala Power Networks (U.S.) operates a real-time grid balancing platform allowing control and dispatch of energy from flexible loads.
  • Greenlots (U.S.) is a hardware-agnostic provider of electric vehicle network management software and services. These give utilities the ability to control grid loads through smart charging and demand response.
  • LO3 Energy(U.S.) is an early mover in peer-to-peer energy trading using blockchain technology, and is developing other applications for its blockchain platform.
  • SaltX (Sweden) is an innovator in storing heat chemically, using a proprietary salt-based technology. This uses a nano coating and graphene to prevent salt crystals from growing when energy is stored, greatly improving the number of storage cycles whilst also reducing corrosion.
  • WiTricty(U.S.) has developed wireless charging through magnetic resonance technology, allowing high-efficiency power transfer.

Michael Wilshire, selection committee chair and head of strategy at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “This year, we were delighted to receive a record number of strong candidates for the New Energy Pioneers program, drawn from 47 different countries. We have seen a sharp uptick in the number of applicants that use digital technologies and software to help make the electricity system more resilient, flexible and efficient – all critical elements of a more decentralized and renewable energy system.

“Emerging technologies such as machine learning and blockchain are being used to improve decision making and to make operations more efficient, as well as to create new capabilities, such as peer-to-peer energy trading and the ability to manage complex sets of distributed assets. Transport is being transformed, with two of this year’s Pioneers developing infrastructure, software, and services to support the rollout of electric vehicles. And we continue to see strong innovation in other areas, such as storage and energy in developing markets,” he added.

Erik Nygard, CEO of Limejump explained: “Being recognised by the NEF Bloomberg Award provides is a clear vindication of our business model to help drive sustainable future. We see Bloomberg as a key ally in providing our customers with insight and information which is needed to ensure we all build this new energy market from the ground up.”

For more information on the New Energy Pioneers program, visit:

https://about.bnef.com/new-energy-pioneers/

For more information about the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit, visit: http://about.bnef.com/summit/

Fixed or Track & Trade? Making sense of the PPA marketplace

If you’re a landowner with on-site renewable energy generation, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is your key to unlocking revenue and providing your resources with access to the National Grid. Essentially a contract between a seller and purchaser of power, a PPA defines the terms under which you trade the energy you generate. It sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, ­­­­not all PPAs are cre­­ated equal – meaning many generators could be missing out on revenue and failing to receive maximum benefit from their generation assets.

Accessing PPA providers directly is now easier than ever before – but while this has the benefit of cutting out the broker, meaning more revenue reaches your own pocket, more choice in the marketplace also leads to quote complexity across the variety of options.  Comparing quotes and understanding the details you are seeing has never been more important.

A key point to remember that the best price on the day of the tender won’t always indicate that you’ll receive the best deal overall. If you’re willing to take a proactive approach towards achieving better returns on your generation, a flexible option like a Track & Trade PPA could be a far more suitable choice. With that in mind, here are three things every generator should think about before signing up for a PPA.

Consider the time you can invest

When choosing a PPA, the first thing you should consider is your requirement for price certainty. Generally speaking, PPA providers will offer fixed or flexible options. If strict budgets or project financing mean you wish to achieve a set price over a defined period, the time taken to follow the market and understand the variants may not be ideal and a traditional fixed PPA will be a natural choice.

Alternatively, a traditional flexible option has a potential to offer much higher returns and can actually reduce the amount of risk you can experience in the market if you begin tracking pricing trends early. Limejump’s Track & Trade PPA is designed to maximise opportunities experienced in market fluctuations, by letting you track the market before fixing at a great price.

We created Track & Trade because we know that while fixed PPAs are a simple, certain option that many of our customers use to optimise their assets, generators are increasingly taking a proactive approach to their market involvement. Our flexible options can provide you with the same access to the marketplace as larger generators, with Track & Trade enhancing the levels of access and control available to you.

With Track & Trade, you can shape your generation to take advantage of any market upside or lock in a price if any abnormal market spikes occur. To further simplify market access, you can also set a bracket of where you want your virtual minimum and maximum price to be. Our traders then issue daily market reports and send alerts when the price jumps to the required level so that you can lock it in for your chosen period of time; this could be a week, a month, or even the remaining duration of your contract.

Choose the right technology and people

When you’re selecting a PPA supplier, be sure to ask about the software used; it will be your eyes and ears in the energy marketplace. For example, our own software has been custom designed, utilising unique algorithms to automatically forecast your power generation and track the changing marketplace. We are perfectly equipped to help you make the most of your generation assets while moderating risk and mitigating imbalance charges.

Every single generation site, regardless of size, should have the same access to the marketplace. Through autonomous analysis and machine learning, our algorithm software and location-based forecasting keep risk premiums low and make sure that when it comes to our customers, even generation sites as small as 5kW can access the same benefits as larger power stations.

Of course, software is only half of the story: you also need expert management solutions at your disposal – and with Limejump, that’s exactly what you get. We combine expert knowledge and marketplace experience in conjunction with future thinking, enhanced with excellent customer service and cutting-edge software – and you’ll also have online tools at your disposal via our specifically tailored customer portal.

An online portal across multiple interface options such as a PC, mobile and tablet is the only modern option for those wanting to manage their energy assets efficiently. This tool should provide complete transparency for your account and full access to reporting and billing information, empowering you in the management of your generation profile.  The ability to schedule your asset for maintenance provides you with the reassurance that you are not missing crucial market occurrences such as Triad events or avoid penalties. With Limejump’s customer portal, you can follow half hourly granular pricing trends for future planning and receive expert daily market reports from our own trading team, giving you extra visibility into a complex market. This coupled with a dedicated customer account team that you can actually talk to, maximizes your assets value.

Review flexibility and transparency

With competition growing in the PPA marketplace, your generation is now able to secure better margins and get maximum return from your agreement. Whereas previously it was not unusual to see supplier margins starting at £3.50 per MWh, these can now be as low as £0.50 per MWh.

However, to ensure the deal you select is the best it can be, it’s vital to work with a purchaser that offers real value and transparency. Look in particular for contracts where embedded benefits are separated from the power price and are presented clearly as percentage pass-throughs. Your PPA supplier will provide you with a simple £/MWh or percentage fee sample so that you are able to see exactly where they are driving profit. Online invoicing is invaluable to small businesses with stretched resources and time, so make sure you choose a provider that can offer you access to your accounts whenever you need it, 24/7.

These three points are intended to help you narrow down your search for your ideal PPA, but often the devil is in the detail. If you have any questions or would like to talk about your individual circumstances with our expert team, please get in touch:

Email: info@limejump.com

Call: +44 (0)20 8396 6848

 

BARN ENERGY & EELPOWER DEPLOY BATTERY UNITS AT HYDRO SCHEMES IN YORKSHIRE WITH LIMEJUMP

BARN ENERGY & EELPOWER DEPLOY BATTERY UNITS AT HYDRO SCHEMES IN YORKSHIRE WITH LIMEJUMP FFR CAPABILITIES POWERING SUCCESS

Barn Energy, the company that developed and owns three of the largest river hydro projects to be built in the UK in the past 20 years, has deployed battery units alongside two of them: at Thrybergh, on the Rover Don near Rotherham and at Knottingley, on the River Aire near Wakefield. This is the first time that battery storage units have been deployed in the UK in combination with low-head river hydro schemes.

Barn Energy worked with its sister company, Eelpower Limited, to deliver the two schemes.  Later this year, the two companies plan to install another battery storage unit at Barn Energy’s Kirkthorpe hydro scheme (500kW capacity) on the River Calder, 10 miles west of Knottingley.

Built by China’s BYD and installed by Anesco, each lithium-ion battery unit has a capacity of over 1200kWh. Each is currently delivering on a two-year contract to deliver Firm Frequency Response (FFR) for the National Grid.  The batteries will also seek to export over TRIAD days, multiplying Thrybergh’s output by five times its original capacity (260kW) and Knottingley’s (500kW) by 2½ times.

The batteries will be remotely controlled using Limejump’s Virtual Power Plant offering. When not performing FFR or TRIAD services, the batteries will be used for load shifting and for trading to maximise the revenues at each site.

Mark Simon, Chief Executive of both Barn Energy and Eelpower Limited explained: “By co-locating the battery units with hydropower, 60-70% of the battery consumption (when performing grid balancing services such as FFR) is provided for by hydropower and the rest comes from the grid. This is a significant benefit for the economics of our battery, and of our hydropower station.”

Erik Nygard, CEO of Limejump described this process as: “Partnering with innovative companies, like Barn Energy and Eelpower, that are committed to developing sustainable energy infrastructure is a cornerstone of the Limejump vision. Opening up market access to these renewable installations and using our Virtual Power Plant platform to maximise value will help deliver a fully sustainable energy future.”

Both batteries were pre-qualified for the recent Capacity Market auction but chose not to take the February 2018 exit price.

Eelpower Limited is a pioneer in the funding, construction, ownership and operation of large-scale commercial electricity storage, building on a heritage of delivery of renewable solar PV and hydropower.  It is currently building a significant portfolio of UK battery assets.

 

Limejump Dominates Managed Battery Storage Inclusion in Latest FFR Auction Results

Limejump celebrates these auction results as an impressive 104MW of managed battery is included

Auction results at a glance:

  • 177 tenders were placed this month across 14 companies, bidding in 28 units;
  • Limejump secured 73% of the total non-BM volume; the remaining 27% was awarded for April 18 one month contracts only;
  • The longest durations were awarded to Limejump, including 24, 20, and 7-month contracts;
  • In total, Limejump secured 104MW; 75MW Dynamic and 29MW Static.

The UK’s National Grid released the latest results from the exclusive FFR energy auction on 16th March 2018.

Topping the list, Limejump celebrated with 104MW of successful bids including 75MW into the National Grid through Dynamic Response and 29MW as Static. These bids were allocated for 24, 20 and 7-month contracts, the longest in duration provided in the auction. In comparison, the remaining dynamic bids were allocated one-month contracts for April 2018 only.

These results pave the way for many storage sites that would not normally have an accessible route to this potentially lucrative frequency market.

In fact, this represents 73% of the total non-BM volume in the entire dynamic auction.

This inclusion provides recognition of the role dynamic battery storage plays in balancing the UK energy system and is another vindication for the importance of renewable resources in this evolving energy landscape.

Head of Trading, Rob Sherwood explained the result as

“We feel that National Grid will continue to favour procuring the majority of FFR volume in the front month(s), this is primarily because the majority of FFR volume has already been procured out until April 2019. This tender round shows that National Grid still has an appetite to accept long-term tenders, albeit mainly for overnight periods. The market is now shifting to a new normal of FFR prices between £5-£16/MW as the remaining periods of availability (overnights and high-only) are also the cheapest to procure in the MFR market, this was proven by the few tenders that were rejected for prices being too high.”

Mark Simon from Eelpower, one of Limejump’s customers benefitting from the successful results, said: “We have seen a clear strategy from the National Grid since last summer, of only securing volume for the upcoming month, and I am delighted with the long-term contract result that has been secured in this March auction. It provides Eelpower with the ability to plan and manage our deployment with our additional partner Anesco’s help and focus on asset value maximisation.”

The selected batteries will be remotely managed utilising Limejump’s Virtual Power Plant connectivity, a connective system of energy generation, battery storage, bespoke analytical systems and highly intuitive market trading abilities. The assets will be called as demand requires, to balance frequency and ensure fluid energy supply across the United Kingdom, as seen recently during the cold snap conditions experienced in the #BeastfromtheEast.

 

For more information regarding Dynamic Response or the Frequency market and your options, please visit our Business Page or contact us at info@limejump.com

Limejump is working with Smartklub as part of a community energy scheme

Limejump is working with Smartklub in consolidation with two energy programmes – the Sustainable Community Energy Networks (SCENe) and the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) – as part of a community energy scheme.

Based in Trent Basin, Nottingham, the community energy scheme is preparing to install Europe’s largest community battery of 2MWh, as well as photovoltaics that will enable energy to be generated and distributed at a neighbourhood level to residents. The project, which is funded by Innovate UK, has gathered a wide range of partners including Blueprint as the key partner and developer, the University of Nottingham, University of Loughborough, Nottingham City Council, Siemens and SmartKlub. The project has gained vast momentum with introductions from Energy Minister Clair Perry.

Smart Community Energy

Smartklub intends to foster community schemes and R&D through batteries, where Limejump will be involved as the commercial offtake for the project. Explaining why the partnership was formed, Charles Bradshaw-Smith, CEO of SmartKlub, said, “Limejump offers an integrated and holistic approach. In addition, they also have a supply licence and are very transparent with their data.”

Future prospects between Limejump and SmartKlub encompass further arbitrage developments such as Frequency Response, Triads and the Capacity Market.

For further information on Power Purchase Agreements or Demand Frequency Response contracts,  please visit our Generators & Business pages.

For more information on the project please visit https://www.projectscene.uk/ or their associated social pages on Facebook & Twitter

Experts Debate UK Wholesale Market at Solar Energy Storage Event in London

A number of prominent energy experts from FERC and Limejump  debated the future of the complex UK Wholesale Energy Market at the UK’s Energy Storage Summit, held last week in London.

After a contentious T-4 Capacity market auction in early February with mid-auction rule changes and difficulties accross the process defining the National Grids requirements as well as the complexity of the system itself, this topic proved an intriguing debate with Nancy Bowler, Branch Cheif of FERC from the USA weighing in with their own experiences stateside. Nancy explained that US energy markets are divided up between not just the Federal and state level but also between wholesale and retail. Limejump’s own head of Head of Trading, Rob Sherwood, provided a position in the discussion regarding the incorporation of a 5-minute rule which would balance and settle market granular pricing and would create “a much bigger market and much wider value”.
To read more about what Limejump can do for your generators with PPA agreements providing the route to market and access to the UK National Grid, visit our Generators section. To see what Limejump can do for your business, visit our specific Businesses site.
To read the full report of the panel’s discussion, the Energy Storage event provided a report by Andy Colthorpe yesterday. Video to follow.
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Triads: Limejump Alerts and Model

What are Triads?

The Triads are the three half-hour settlement periods with highest electrical demand between November and February, separated by no less than 10 days. They are used by National Grid (NG) to determine charges for demand with half-hourly metering (also known as TNUoS) and payments to license-exempt distributed generation.

Triads provide a benefit for export and a charge for import during these three half-hours. National Grid announces the Triad dates in late March, with payments following around Summer 2018.

Why are Triads Important?

If you are an exporter chasing Triads, or an importer avoiding Triads, this can equate to a benefit or saving of around £45,000 per MW, based on the UK average. Any energy consumption should be minimised for import of electricity, whereas, electricity generators should maximise output by avoiding maintenance and planned downtime during the Triad period.

Limejump Triad Alerts

Historically, electricity demand reaches a peak on working days around sunset. The highest demand for the year will occur between Nov-Feb and is typically driven by temperature/weather. However, it is impossible to know the exact date and time of the Triad events as this is only known once announced by NG. Limejump have further developed a model that will send out alerts around 10:00am* about potential times (of an hour period) that the Triad event is likely to occur.

Limejump’s model is based on machine learning techniques to predict Triad events. During the Triad season, the model will be sending three types of daily alerts (1) Low, (2) Medium, (3) High, relating to increasing likelihood of the Triad event happening according to the model. Based on the alerts received from Limejump, the site should implement their own Triad strategy, and plan to respond. The customer’s decision to respond should be determined by their risk profile and other information sources.

Historic performance of Limejump’s model alerts over the past 5 years

 

*The model may send a secondary alert during the day if the likelihood of Triads has increased, around 15:00.

Note: Limejump’s Triad model is a forecast model and therefore past performance is not an indication of future performance, and the number of alerts can also vary from the above table.

Limejump’s Virtual Power Plant (Issue 2; Part 1)

The need for a Virtual Power Plant

Energy generation in the UK is experiencing vast changes. With the ongoing deployment of more renewables, the mix of generation sources is becoming more diverse. The increase of renewable generators that have been constructed and are feeding the grid has created a new energy mix in the UK. Figures from National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios Conference suggest that, on average, between now and 2030, wind generation capacity will increase from 12GW to 26GW, and solar will increase from 5GW to 20GW. Coal, meanwhile, is set to reduce to 0GW by 2025, having already closed a large number of plants in the past 12 months. In addition to this, batteries are becoming more prominent with National Grid expecting 0.8 GW- 4GW by 2030.

All of these changes creates a need for flexibility to balance the intermittency that is an unavoidable factor of renewable energy sources. This grid needs flexibility as two problems arise from the changing energy mix: (1) guarantee of supply which is forecastable i.e. increase in demand during winter evenings, (2) a reactive ability to balance the grid i.e. grid frequency. Grid frequency must stay within the tolerance levels of ±1% of 50Hz as going over/under this threshold can have an impact on events such as power cuts. Organisations have been helping to achieve this for some time through participation in schemes such as Frequency Response; adjusting their consumption to respond to short term fluctuations on the system in return for healthy revenue streams. A fast/slow response is needed by National Grid to maintain this frequency, and assets that can have a positive impact on Grid frequency instantaneously are in demand – creating significant opportunities for businesses with the ability to turn up/turn down energy consumption when the grid is overloaded or under stress.

It is for that reason that we have created Limejump’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP)- a technological control system that uses cloud infrastructure to aggregate small distributed assets across the country, mimicking services of a tradition power station. This allows for assets to unlock their full flexibility potential and gain access to the rewards available for doing so.

Limejump’s VPP Portfolio

One of our VPP products is Portfolio Frequency Response, using real time response. This includes all types of assets which respond in concert to help balance the grid. Limejump’s portfolio entails different types of assets such as CHPs, Chillers, Coolers, Freezers, HVAC, pumps, compressors, furnaces, but also contains assets that have different types of responses- from slow or traditional assets such as peaking plant and base load generators, to faster responding assets such as batteries, refrigerating units etc.

To deliver frequency service response to the grid, it is critical that the portfolio is able to ramp up or ramp down in less than a second, with high accuracy to a specific volume. Slower assets participate in big deviations and deliver the bulk of the response, whereas batteries and faster assets are used for the finesse aspect (i.e. noise of the frequency), and are able to have a fast reaction time, and smooth the portfolio response. By combining fast responding assets such as batteries with a mixture of assets with differing speeds of response, we are able to deliver the same quality of real time DFR as a large scale power plant.

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