Matthew’s Quarries earns revenue by shifting when it uses electricity grid power

By on June 3, 2020

Matthews Quarries is a family owned and operated business supplying quarry products across Victoria. The business has steadily grown, with sister companies Latrobe Valley Concrete and Latrobe Valley Sands, to meet diverse construction material needs.

A founding member of the Construction Materials Processors Association (CMPA), Managing Director, Robert Matthews, let us know about his latest energy initiative, which is helping the business earn a new revenue stream with a tried and tested program.

Businesses in the construction and material processes industries can be financially rewarded for reducing the amount of electricity they use in times of electricity grid or market stress. This is done by being flexible with energy use, through Demand Response (DR) programs, which give energy users more control, more power and more visibility of their energy.

By being flexible with energy use at strategic times in response to a grid need, Matthew’s Quarries is accessing a new revenue stream, achieving cost savings, putting downward pressure on electricity prices for all consumers, and in the case of blackouts, supports its local community by giving power back to those who need it most.

Mr Matthews said, “We started participating in DR in November last year as a new pathway to make cost savings with energy aggregator Enel X. We did not have to overcome any obstacles to participate in the DR program. I chose to do it after a cost-benefit assessment, to develop new revenue. After the summer period, we were paid for our participation, which was straightforward. We simply power down our equipment in response to a grid need, and earn revenue for it, it’s great.”

Enel X has been a member of the CMPA since 2019 and is the world’s largest independent aggregator of commercial and industrial business’ energy load. Globally, the company has 6.3 GW of flexible energy under management in its Virtual Power Plant (VPP) that responds to electricity grid needs.

Andrew Sutherland, Consultant from Enel X said, “We see a lot of untapped opportunity for mining and quarrying organisations in this area. Power flexibility gives businesses the ability to strategically adjust when they use power from the electricity grid. Not only does this support the grid in times of need, power flexibility helps to reduce the cost of energy for businesses and consumers.

Businesses can earn upwards of $10,000 into the hundreds of thousands per year for participating in DR programs, depending on the size of the business and its energy consumption. This service helps to prevent blackouts and also supports Australia’s transition to renewable energy,” he said.

Most large-scale companies have inherent power flexibility, which can be harnessed by making temporary adjustments to electricity use, or by switching from grid power to a backup generator or battery storage unit, with little to no impact on operations.

DR events are triggered either by a grid need when there’s not enough supply to meet demand, or a price signal, for example, when the price per MWh jumps above $300.

That trigger is then activated by automated controls or manually by Enel X’s network operations centre.

There is a growing range of power flexibility programs on offer. Each has different technical requirements and different financial value. Businesses are not limited to just one program – Enel X helps to maximise the total annual value of participation by optimising flexibility assets across the relevant programs.

Enel X has been in the industry for over 20 years and works with more than 200 Australian businesses today to generate new revenue by tapping into power flexibility and turn energy into a competitive advantage.

Written by Andrew Sutherland, consultant at Enel X,
e: asutherland@enel.com


To learn more, get in touch with Andrew or the Enel X Australia team at: info.enelxanz@enel.com or visit www.enelx.com.au

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