Electricity End users

Within each focus area, SmartWatt offers the following services to End Users:

  • Consulting: Design of required solutions, completion of energy audits and provision of verification services as well as support to reach the energy management ISC 50001 certification.
  • Turn-Key Integrated Systems: System integration and delivery of technical solution on clients site.
  • Energy & Water Sustainability Identity: Design and development of corporate responsibility reports (CSR) to end users through interactive dashboards with levels of emissions, monetary, as well as thermal fuel resources saved by the end user.

Electricity Regulators/Grid Operators

Within each focus area, SmartWatt offers the following services to Electricity Regulators/Grid Operators:

  • Consulting: Assessment of current strategic needs and development of implementation strategies.
  • EPC: Through our partnership, solution design, procurement of equipment and hire of sub-contractors to deliver final results.

Focus Areas

Energy Performance Enhancement

Energy performance enhancement translates into increasing the overall energy consumption efficiency of end users leading to reductions in their monthly electricity bills. This is done through a sequential operational model that includes a detailed energy audit, design of solution systems under different categories, and finally implementing those solutions and monitoring as well as verifying savings produced. Solution categories include thermal losses minimization, cooling efficiency enhancements, smart energy management systems and use of alternative sources of energy on-site.

Energy performance enhancement has been employed internationally through energy services companies (ESCOs). ESCOs operate under a variety of different business models in the form of financial and energy performance agreements with clients interested in increasing the energy efficiency of their sites. Despite differences amid these models, namely in finance options, in general the ESCO raises fully or partially the initial capital required for retrofits deemed necessary at the site. The savings on the client’s electricity bill, made from the retrofits applied, would then be shared amongst stakeholders involved including the client.

SmartWatt is positioning itself as the foremost ESCO in the region through its strategic partnership with one of the leading international ESCOs, Enertika. Enertika has an impressive track record of successful completion of energy performance enhancement contracts in Europe, South America and Africa. Integrating such experience with our in-house expertise in delivering cost-effective energy solutions facilitates our position as the leading ESCO in the region.

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) & Microgrids

Power grid operators are under constantly rising pressure to cope with growth in electricity demand. Expansion in the power generation capacity requires new expensive thermal units to be installed, probably at new nodes in the power grid, and at new geographic locations. The rise of distributed generation sources and energy storage systems aid the grid operators and regulators in keeping up with this demand growth while mitigating the dependence on large thermal power plants. This is a major shift in the paradigm of the classical model of power systems, inherently designed around the notion of centralized operation as well as unidirectional power flow.

Distributed energy resources (DER) are energy systems, implemented on end user sites, that when integrated properly allow the site to reduce its dependence on the grid for its energy requirements thus optimizing its electricity bills. These integrated energy systems also allow for supplying excess power to the grid when possible and if needed. These systems include

  • Smart storage
  • Distributed Renewable Power (including rooftop solar)
  • Smart Energy Management

The birth of DER systems as explained above has led to the evolution of the so-called microgirds. A microgrid is in essence a local power grid with overarching real-time control capabilities. This means it can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously upon request from the grid operator. A microgrid can be thought of as a standalone power system consisting of several distributed energy resources (DERs), rendering the overall system to be viewed by the high voltage main grid as one integrated flexible load. The advantage of this overall load lies in its capability to synchronize with the main grid, supplying it with real or reactive power as needed and even potentially disconnecting from it.

The primary purpose of microgrids is to ensure local, reliable, and affordable power for urban and rural communities, while also providing continuous and cheaper power for commercial, industrial, and residential consumers geographically grouped together. The ensuing benefit of mircrogrids is helping in sustaining power system reliability, and providing power quality correction to the grid, both in a cost effective manner as compared to classical alternatives, such as investments in thermal power plants and high voltage transmission lines. Moreover, microgrids allow for smoothing the integration of renewable power on the high voltage grid and the full materialization of the benefits of such green power, by providing the necessary reserve requirements needed to stabilize the volatile generation, thus providing capacity firming of renewable power sources.

SmartWatt possesses commanding understanding of the integration process of DERs (including rooftop solar), as well as the technical particulars of microgrids and finally the complexities of their synchronization with the high voltage power grid. Through strong ties with our international vendors, and our in-house expertise, we are capable of converting end user sites into DER systems and even microgrids in a cost effective manner that yields significant savings to our clients and ensure reliable power supply to the grid operator.

Virtual Power Plants (VPP)

The Virtual Power Plant (VPP) concept emerged as a requirement to bridge the gap between Distributed Energy Resources (DER) systems, integrated as microgrids, with the wholesale operation and dispatch of power systems. A VPP is the entity that controls one or more microgrids and synchronizes their integrated operation with the requirement of the high voltage grid. The distinction between VPPs and microgrids, is that the latter defines, among other things, the physical DER system with its electrical components and integration platforms with the high voltage power network, and thus it is limited by physical power system boundaries. On the other hand, a VPP integrates the operation of these systems over ICT lines and is only bound by communication bandwidths and the ability of such lines to accommodate real time big data bi-directional transfer.

The objective of a Virtual Power Plant is then to relieve the load on the grid by smartly distributing and integrating the overall power generated by the individual systems under its control, during periods of either peak load or those where the power system is operating under a security contingency state beyond the normal one. Moreover, a Virtual Power Plant can participate in the wholesale day ahead and real time market-clearing processes in countries with mature electricity markets, resulting in lower marginal generation costs reflected in lower locational marginal pricing in nodes with access to such distributed power.

The core advantage of the evolution of VPPs lies in their ability to integrate smoothly a high number of renewable distributed power sources into the wholesale market operation of the grid. This allows for harnessing, on a national power grid level, the low marginal electricity production costs of such renewables while accounting for the flexibility and reserve required to ensure such intermittent sources do not effect the overall power grid stability and reliability requirements. This is achieved through the smart balance of the DER individual load profiles with their power sources and the synchronization of such balance with the requirements of the high voltage grid. Given the benefits and need for such an advantage, Virtual Power Plants will gradually take over the role of traditional power plants selling their output and flexibility on wholesale markets and assisting grid operators in maintaining a secure power system.

SmartWatt’s focal niche is its understanding of the complexities of power system operation and planning both on the technical and economics level. Our strategy is acquiring a portfolio of DER clients that will allow us to be the first VPP in the region when the regulatory framework is set for the inclusion of this new player in the electricity market.

Demand Response

Demand response is a program to motivate changes in power consumption by end-users (thus inducing change in consumer behavior) in response to changes in the price of electricity over time, or to give incentive payments designed to induce lower electricity use at times of high market prices (resulting from high hourly marginal generation cost) or when grid reliability is jeopardized. Successful deployment of such a program has numerous benefits to all stakeholders of the electricity sector and will allow for the materialization of the suggested benefits of smart grids including those attributed to high level of renewable energy penetration into the power grid.

Demand response does that by presenting grid operators and regulators with a more cost-effective alternative, as compared to the classical solution of adding power generation capacity, to meet the peak demand and more importantly to provide the flexibility, otherwise offered by generation reserve on the supply side, needed to maintain a secure and reliable power grid operation. The cost of securing such power reserve on the supply side inflates the marginal generation cost of electricity by a factor determined by the power system security contingency states and inherently reflects the cost of acquiring stable thermal generation capacity. Demand response provides the grid operator with this reserve in the form of flexibility to reduce network demand at different time intervals and with several response rates, thus providing cheaper primary and tertiary spinning and non-spinning reserve.

The function of demand response is provided by an aggregator whose role in the power system is two-fold: i) Acquiring power consumption flexibility from different end users by tailoring different financial incentives for each user type as well as installing the communication backbone and the direct load control capabilities to allow for the physical acquiring of demand reduction when needed; ii) Optimizing the portfolio of flexibilities from the different end users and providing the aggregated sum to the grid operator as guaranteed flexibility or reserve to be used through the aggregator when needed. Thus the aggregator acts as the financial and physical interface between the grid operator and the end users providing a situation where all stakeholders involved benefit resulting in a higher social welfare for the power system as a whole. A virtual power plant can also act as an aggregator providing flexibility from different Distributed Energy Resource (DER) systems spread in the power grid.

To perform an optimization of the deployment of demand response, SmartWatt investigates different market structures from the power system operation and economics perspectives. Our strategy is acquiring a portfolio of end user clients that will allow us to be the first and biggest aggregator in the region when the regulatory framework in the region is set for the inclusion of demand response in the electricity market.

Smart Sustainable Communities

Smart sustainable communities refer to the integration of our focus areas into a compound or a community. Thus it includes Distributed Energy Resource (DER) systems that entails within it the smart infrastructure and energy management system that allows for real time switching from renewable to storage and to grid (both ways). Also it includes energy efficiency enhancement retrofits to reduce the overall total energy consumption over months and years. This can be clearly understood as two concepts, mainly the distinction between power in MWs and energy in MWh as follows:

Smart Power Consumption in MWs: within minutes to few hours, the total electricity or power consumption of all the community can go down. This allows for the provision of demand response that helps the operator in securing the reserve it needs to operate its power grid within security limits at reduced total cost.

Efficient Energy Consumption in MWhs: this is about improving the efficiency of energy consuming machines and devices so that they consume less MWs every hour resulting in a total reduction in the energy consumed by the entire community over the month.

The advantage of such communities is that residents’ monthly costs will be effectively reduced given their lower electricity bills and new revenue streams from providing demand response. Furthermore, these residents will pay Low or even zero maintenance and community charges, which will be achieved by having revenue-providing services within the community.

SmartWatt works with its local partners in real estate development to pioneer this concept in the region.

Smart Grid Power Systems

Evolving smart cities are relying on so-called smart grids to further automate the operation of the electricity sector and allow for active engagement of the end-user consumption in the overall power grid. Such active involvement of the demand side in the hourly operation of the grid will provide the power system operator with the physical flexibility in electricity needed to balance the volatility in the supply side of a power system. Such volatility is classically caused by potential disruptions on the grid and lately has been augmented due to higher penetration of renewable energy sources in the generation mix. The volatility associated with integrating variable sources of renewable energy with the wholesale electricity market is attributed to the unpredictability of these sources. This is in contrast with the more stable but polluting thermal generators that classical electricity sectors and markets were designed around.

The development of such systems is essentially coupled to advancements in the notion of smart cities and thus to the evolution of smart grids. Smart grid is a generic label for the application of computer intelligence and networking abilities to a classical electricity distribution system. Smart grid initiatives seek to improve operations, maintenance and planning by ensuring that all components of the power grid can seamlessly exchange data and potentially use this data in real time to automate the grid further to allow for a more resilient power grid in a cost effective manner.

SmartWatt’s partnership with leading international local and international system integration and automation companies, augmented with our power system expertise, allows us to offer cost effective and proficient solutions in the following categories within smart grids:

  • Complete Grid-to-End User Advanced Metering Infrastructure & Systems
  • Load Dispatch Centers and SCADA Systems
  • Demand-Side Power Quality Corrections

Energy & Water Security - Demand Side Management

The question of how national energy and water security targets in one country can be met through demand side management of its energy and wastewater sectors is one that requires multilayered understanding of a country’s economic and regulatory energy and water characteristics. For instance the coupling between water and energy consumption and production in UAE defines new platforms consisting of synergies and challenges for meeting energy and water security targets. Furthermore the complex subsidy system embedded in the UAE energy value chain requires a unique approach to computing national savings obtained from demand side management alternatives in UAE. Moreover the notion of circular economy where all waste produced nationally can be recovered and injected back into the economy through recycled water or other byproducts is an innovative solution to the national urgency of scarce water and what to do with waste.

Elaborating further on the case of UAE, while energy efficiency enhancement in the country’s electricity end users will result in lower electricity bills, thus directly benefitting consumers, it will also produce significant savings to the government or grid operator. This is achieved through the reduction in natural gas consumed to produce electricity, thus reducing the opportunity cost associated with using it as well as increasing the potential for arbitrage benefits by the national oil and gas operating company. This benefit is augmented by the reduction in subsidy losses on every gallon of gas used to produce electricity and on every MWh of electricity consumed by residents.

Furthermore, the requirement of power system reliability in the wake of rising penetration of volatile renewable power sources in the region’s power systems inherently means that the effective cost of integrating such sources into the power grid is high given the reserve required. SmartWatt’s authoritative understanding of the intricacies of the operation of power systems in the region and of the demand based tools evolving in international electricity markets allows us to bridge the gap between demand side management and national security targets. It allows us to aid governments in the region in using demand-based solutions to achieve long-term and short-term energy security goals while ensuring monetary gains for end users as well. Energy security in this context means both protecting the valuable oil and gas reserves in a country thus sustaining its long term power requirements, and also means ensuring that the power grid is capable of continuously and reliably meeting rising demand at reduced national costs.

SmartWatt’s ability to structure partnerships with leading international players in the renewable, waste recovery and strategy consulting markets renders us well equipped to participate in the following national initiatives:

  • Provision of Renewable Power National Tenders
  • Integration of Renewable Power Supply with Smart Flexible Demand
  • Firming of Renewable Capacity
  • Design & Implementation of national demand side management policies and frameworks
  • Design & Implementation of national waste water treatment and recovery projects to cultivate the concept of circular economy

Waste Water Management

The issue of how to treat and recycle wastewater from industries, municipalities as well as oil & gas and industrial sites is a major concern given strict regulatory standards governing the acceptable health level of such waste before it can be re-used or injected into the sewage system. Moreover, the question of what to do with manure and sludge produced by agricultural farms and the cost associated with the handling of such waste are major concerns in the agricultural sector.

Through our partnership with Nijhuis Industries, a leading Dutch manufacturer of waste treatment and recovery systems, SmartWatt offers complete solutions for clients’ needs in this area. Our in-house system integration experts will work with clients to design unique solutions for their problems and optimize the revenue produced from the waste through re-using recycled water thus minimizing water costs. Our systems can also be integrated with our energy offerings to produce holistic and integrated solutions to clients jointly optimizing their energy and water, including waste, requirements.

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