Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Honeywell and Pearlstone partner on UK smart grid programme

Steve Rogerson
December 15, 2015
Honeywell and London-based demand response aggregator Pearlstone Energy have teamed up to provide a smart grid programme for commercial and industrial facilities in the UK. The programme aims to reduce energy bills while helping improve country-wide power reliability and meet carbon reduction commitments.
Under the programme, Pearlstone will pay participants to reduce their energy consumption for short amounts of time during periods when electricity demands exceed availability. Pearlstone will partner with Honeywell to identify short-term energy reduction measures in buildings, such as adjusting heating and cooling equipment, and Honeywell will provide the technology to automate these reductions, free of charge to the building owners.
Prior to a building's participation, Honeywell will conduct site audits to assist in the design of energy reduction measures. The company will also provide testing and training, and will connect each facility to the automated system.
These automated energy reduction measures, known as automated demand response (ADR), can create additional revenue streams for participants while contributing to broader UK carbon reduction goals.
"Facilities use electricity for different purposes, but they don't need to consume it at full capacity all of the time," said Azad Camyab, chief executive officer at Pearlstone Energy. "We're using Honeywell's open-source smart grid technology to tap into buildings' flexible energy needs to offer additional sources of grid stability along with savings and potential new revenue for participants."
The programme's centrepiece is Honeywell's demand response automation server software-as-a-service (SaaS), which allows Pearlstone to communicate with participating buildings to trigger pre-specified short-term energy reduction measures during times of peak demand on the grid, or peak pricing periods, when buildings are charged more for the energy they consume.
Pearlstone can then aggregate the resulting energy reserves and seek to apply them towards grid stabilisation efforts, by tendering for National Grid's short-term operating reserve service, which aims to reduce grid demands using clean methods that avoid producing carbon emissions.
In addition to payment for their participation, facilities can reduce their energy bills by avoiding costly peak pricing periods and network demand charges. Pearlstone also intends to sell the aggregated customer energy load saved by the programme on the wholesale energy markets at favourable and profitable trading times to drive additional potential revenue for participants.
Pearlstone is recruiting participating companies, and expects the programme to provide a minimum of 3MW of capacity by early 2016, equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power 6600 UK homes for a year. The two companies expect the programme to grow significantly over the next five years to more than 200MW capacity.
"Shifting energy use is a viable alternative to producing additional megawatts of energy, especially as countries like the UK seek cleaner sources to balance the grid while meeting carbon reduction commitments," said Justin McCurnin, vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s smart grid operation. "ADR provides a clean pathway to keeping the lights on while achieving longer-term sustainability goals."
Honeywell has 20 ADR programmes underway in the USA and around the world, including projects in Australia, China, India and the UK. In addition, Honeywell has managed demand response and energy efficiency projects for more than 100 utilities.