Combined Heat & Power, District Heating & Cooling, Demand Side Services

United Utilities

A smart box installed at United Utilities’ sites allows its process equipment to “talk” to the grid and acts like a ‘virtual’ power station, allowing National Grid to even out temporary peaks and troughs in demand instead of turning power stations up and down. Motors and pumps can automatically adjust their energy consumption in seconds in response to variations in power frequency.

United Utilities | Demand Response

United Utilities is the first company in the North West and the first water firm in the country to sign-up for Dynamic Demand. The system acts like a ‘virtual’ power station, allowing National Grid to even out temporary peaks and troughs in demand instead of turning power stations up and down.

A smart box installed at United Utilities’ sites allows its process equipment to “talk” to the grid. Motors and pumps can automatically adjust their energy consumption in seconds in response to variations in power frequency. In 2014 United Utilities trialled the initiative at three sites - its wastewater treatment plants at Bolton and Birkenhead and a water pumping station at Hoghton near Blackburn. The results were so successful that it is now rolling out the programme across the whole North West region. 

To date United Utilities have installed the technology at 10 of their larger activated sludge plants, (biological wastewater treatment) including Davyhulme in Manchester, St Helens, Preston, Runcorn, Warrington and Widnes. They have also successfully integrated Dynamic Demand onto other sites, for example a water pumping station. Over the coming months a further 10 activated sludge plants are targeted and we are starting to evaluate new waste and fresh water processes that the company feels could work with the technology.

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