Holcim gets full transparency on the value of flexibility
A partnership between cement producer Holcim and Demand Response business REstore will return up to 10 MW to the transmission grid at peak times. The agreement will deliver fully transparent cost savings for Holcim’s plant in Obourg and contribute to limiting the risk of power shortages in Belgium.
The Lafarge Holcim group operates a large cement plant in Obourg in the south of Belgium. As the leading global supplier of building materials, the recently merged group has a mission to help address the major challenges facing our rapidly changing world including: demographic growth, increasing urban development, climate change, and protecting the environment. In Demand Response the group sees an effective way to meet the last two challenges. Partnering with REstore, the European leader in Demand Response, Lafarge Holcim is effectively reducing its CO₂ emissions in the long-term by adapting power consumption to the level of the available electricity supply, even to the point of curtailing its equipment in the case of a major power shortage. By doing this the company is adapting to the increasing need for flexibility in power consumption and helping to ease the implementation and further development of renewable energy.
“We can now precisely value our flexibility and optimise how we use it year round”,
The Obourg plant is equipped with rotary kilns, which must run continually and works in a very seasonal market with low demand in the winter and high demand in summer. The facility also possesses large capacity silos that store significant quantities of raw material in case of a major process breakdown and a substantial inventory of finished products in anticipation of the main summer construction season. These silos act as effective supply buffers for processes that can be switched off for certain periods without making an impact on customer deliveries. The Obourg plant had traditionally participated to the interruptible supply programme offered by its electricity supplier. It got experience in how fast and how long its large clinker mills and smaller coal and slag mills could be switched off, but - in the context of rising energy costs – the arrangement was not transparent to Holcim and did not realise the full value of the plant’s flexibility.
REstore caught the immediate attention of the plant management when it introduced them to the various reserve programmes offered by Elia. The Belgian media had recently warned of a major risk of electricity shortages in the winter, which could potentially trigger the activation of an automatic curtailment plan with the risk of a substantial impact on local communities. As an incentive, in exchange for its flexibility, Elia was offering Obourg an indemnity to cover the cost of any lost production. REstore offered Holcim seamless automation with no need for human intervention, real-time monitoring of any curtailment and full transparency on expected payments. With this Holcim could now precisely value its flexibility and put it to good use. The Obourg plant also participates in Elia’s summer programmes that compensate for major imbalances on the grid and the plant can now optimise the value of its flexibility all year round.
for Holcim include
REstore gives industrial consumers a real-time view on the value of their flexibility: how much power is available, how much CO₂ was saved. It creates engagement.
Demand Response facilitates the further development of renewable energy. It lowers industry's carbon footprint. It helps to curb global climate change.
REstore optimises revenues all year-round, offering the highest possible volume, in the highest-paying reserve, at the best possible time.