Unlocking untapped revenue for Greene Team Pellet
Greene Team Pellet leveraged underutilized flexibility in their power needs and unlocked new, recurring revenues, by monetizing their flexible load in the most intelligent way through Demand Response.
At their production site in Greene County, Pennsylvania, the Greene Team Pellet Fuel Company manufactures wood pellets which are used as a sustainable energy source in over one million homes across the US. Their wood pellets are considered to be a carbon neutral energy source, as it produces no more carbon when it is burned than it absorbed in its life cycle.
Since energy underpins their ability to manufacture products, it was important to Greene Team Pellet that their electricity consumption was reliable, cost-effective and supported their operational requirements. In order to meet these goals, Centrica Business Solutions’ sister company Direct Energy Business was chosen in March 2016 to deliver their electricity supply.
The positive relationship that had been built by the Direct Energy Business team meant that Greene Team Pellet was comfortable expanding the relationship by participating in PJM’s Capacity Market Demand Response program, supported by both Direct Energy Business and Centrica Business Solutions. In 2018, Direct Energy Business recommended a new supply agreement structure - Fixed Energy Plus – and by harnessing intelligence, forecasts and alerts from Centrica Business Solutions’ demand response platform, Greene Team Pellet was able to achieve significant cost savings by reducing peak demand at appropriate times. As a result, this specific Demand Response program became less suitable for Greene Team Pellet, since their demand management efforts minimized their peak load contribution charges.
Regulatory changes and new opportunities
Greene Team Pellet achieved significant savings on their energy bill through their participation in the Fixed Energy Plus program, since they were able to swiftly respond to the alerts provided by Centrica Business Solutions to reduce their demand during grid peaks. However, as their capacity tag substantially decreased, they were prevented from continuing to participate in the Capacity Market.
Subsequently, Centrica Business Solutions identified a new opportunity for Greene Team Pellet to generate revenues from their operational flexibility: through PJM’s Synchronous Reserves program. This is an advanced Demand Response program that requires a fast response to events or requests from the grid, requiring a response within just 10 minutes notice. Not only did this program offer Greene Team Pellet the flexibility to make themselves unavailable when necessary, which minimized operational impact; but it also enabled them to generate new revenues, without disrupting the supply bill savings they could continue to realize by managing their peak demand.
Centrica Business Solutions worked with Greene Team Pellet to install the real time data telemetry that is a requirement of the program. However, to maximize their participation in the Synchronous Reserves Demand Response program, smart automation technology was also introduced to link and integrate their onsite control systems to PJM. This was supported by PowerRadar™ – Centrica Business Solutions’ state-of-the-art energy management platform, which provides organizations with the flexibility to control and manage energy data through a single, holistic platform encompassing their entire energy footprint.
Through the collation, sharing and monitoring of live data through the PowerRadar™ platform, Greene Team Pallet’s energy system can respond to events within seconds - instantly adjusting energy requirements. When the event ends, their energy requirements are automatically returned to their normal state. This automation means there is minimal disruption for site personnel when a PJM Synchronous Reserves event is called, and the site also remains protected from underperformance penalties and risk. PowerRadar™ also forecasts the probability of a peak demand day and is used by Greene Team Pellet personnel on a daily basis to monitor energy performance and consumption.
Our future partnership
Centrica Business Solutions continues to work closely with Greene Team Pellet to maximize their availability to participate in PJM’s Synchronous Reserves program. This includes identifying the most lucrative hours for them to be available; recommending changes that could be made to their planning process in order to increase their availability during those times; offering ongoing monitoring and automated site withdrawal from the market when required; and providing wholesale market participation support and reporting. After just six months, Greene Team’s initial investment in program enabling equipment had been fully recouped, and they can expect to earn a significant recurring revenue by being responsive to requests from PJM.
Our partnership with Greene Team Pellet continues to develop. Most recently, Centrica Business Solutions proactively identified a regulatory change which would allow Greene Team Pellet to participate in the Capacity Market during the winter season, while continuing to realize savings from their peak demand activities and generate revenues from the PJM Synchronous Reserves. This will be accomplished through aggregating Greene Team Pellet with other commercial and industrial customers in Centrica Business Solutions’ portfolio of participants in the PJM Capacity Market across summer and winter periods. What’s more, Greene Team Pellet recently renewed their agreement with Centrica Business Solutions and Direct Energy Business, securing the future of our partnership for a further three years.
Through their partnership with Direct Energy Business and Centrica Business Solutions to date, Greene Team Pellet has realized a total financial benefit of $100,000 through combination of earnings and cost savings, both achieved by leveraging underutilized flexibility in their power needs. By 2023, we estimate that the total financial value could reach more than $350,000. This revenue has been generated in spite of regulatory changes and other forces limiting their participation in certain programs, as the strength of the partnership has enabled them to transition onto alternative Capacity Market and Demand Response opportunities. This has meant that Greene Team Pellet have continued to unlock additional revenues and monetize their flexible load in the most effective way, whilst also benefiting from the best electricity price savings.
Andy Galis, Operations Manager at Greene Team Pellet, said: “With the expertise of Centrica Business Solutions and Direct Energy Business, we’ve created a significant recurring revenue stream through Demand Response participation. Their smart automation technology provides us with a holistic view of our entire energy footprint and ensures we can seamlessly leverage underutilized flexibility in our energy requirements, without disrupting our operations. Their support has been invaluable in enabling us to derive maximum value from our energy estate.”