EnerNOC has begun providing Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) with frequency control ancillary services (FCAS), which help to support power system security and ensure uninterrupted power for all consumers during unexpected events that affect the flow of energy.

EnerNOC’s aggregated demand response resource is providing up to 70MW of FCAS to support system security, marking the first time that distributed demand-side resources have provided grid balancing ancillary services in the NEM.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the NEM’s ongoing transition to a system based on distributed energy resources in Australia,” said EnerNOC vice-president and managing director Asia Pacific Jeff Renaud. “Historically, grid-balancing ancillary services have been provided by conventional generators, but demand response is a large ready-to-use resource that can supply these services faster, cheaper and with fewer emissions than traditional generators can.”

Some options offered by EnerNOC can restore the balance between supply and demand on the grid in less than 100 milliseconds. As large, centralised thermal plants are progressively being displaced by renewables and distributed energy, there is a greater need for solutions like EnerNOC’s, addressing issues impacting the regular energy flows on the grid very quickly, Renaud said.

Contingency FCAS can help the power system remain stable and rebalance the grid when the regular flow of energy on the grid is disturbed. EnerNOC’s distributed network of devices instantaneously detects imbalances on the grid and then automatically decreases customer loads, typically in less than one second. Demand-side customers participating in EnerNOC’s service include facilities from multiple industries, such as cold storage, manufacturing and forest products.

EnerNOC is a subsidiary of Enel, a multinational power company and a leading integrated player in the global, power, gas and renewables markets. The group operates in more than 30 countries with total energy capacity of 86GW.

Enel’s renewables arm, Enel Green Power, manages about 40GW of wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydropower plants in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and has recently arrived in Australia.