DONG Energy launches ‘first of its kind’ flexibility service to balance renewable portfolio

Offshore wind market leader DONG Energy has come up with a unique way to help balance its own generation at times when the wind doesn't blow.
The business today launched its Renewable Balancing Reserve service, which works by offsetting drops in wind strength with its business customers' demand.

Large business customers will be invited to adjust their energy consumption when wind strength varies from forecast, creating a new commercial solution to manage intermittency of renewable sources.

Notes to editors

About DONG Energy

DONG Energy is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe, headquartered in Denmark. Around 6,700 ambitious employees are engaged in producing energy from offshore wind farms, bioenergy and thermal heat and power plants, oil and gas fields as well as providing energy solutions to residential and business customers. Group revenue was DKK 67bn (EUR 9.0bn) in 2014. For further information, see

Reference points

  •  Ofgem's Flexibility Study, published 30th September 2015, highlights the need for businesses to use energy flexibly to support UK system balancing, as the generation mix becomes more intermittent:
  • National Grid's Power Responsive initiative is designed to drive a collaborative approach across a range of industry stakeholders to deliver flexible solutions at scale by 2020:
As the operator of the largest offshore wind portfolio in the UK and a supplier to an increasing portfolio of British businesses, DONG Energy has created the Renewable Balancing Reserve product to help balance its portfolio and fulfil generation contracts in the most cost-effective way. DONG Energy will invite customers to either turn down consumption or increase on-site generation production when the wind blows more or less than forecast, helping to keep the system balanced and reducing the need to call on conventional or more expensive generation sources to make up the gap. It gives customers the opportunity to reduce intermittency in grid supply and also creates a new revenue stream by sharing the cost savings that result.

DONG Energy customers can choose whether to participate, without commitment, during any half-hourly period throughout the year. By reducing exposure on the wholesale market for imbalance, DONG Energy is able to share savings with customers and is creating an innovative way to operate a 100% renewable portfolio year-round.

As the UK energy mix becomes increasingly intermittent and supply margin tightens, there is a greater requirement for businesses to support system balancing using on-site generation or unlocking flexibility from large consumption assets without impacting operations or production schedules. Renewable Balancing Reserve forms part of DONG Energy's flexibility product range, which helps customers to manage their consumption more intelligently, save energy costs and generate revenue from greater flexibility.

Jeff Whittingham, Managing Director of DONG Energy Sales UK comments:

"DONG Energy is investing in the development of new commercial solutions to balance an intermittent generation portfolio, whilst helping businesses to use their flexibility to create value. Renewable Balancing Reserve is different, provides businesses with an alternative way to reduce costs and create new revenue, without the risk of penalties or restrictive schedules."
Unlike other Demand Side Response schemes, Renewable Balancing Reserve requires no commitment, with business customers able to choose whether to participate at each occurrence. There are no financial penalties involved for failure to respond, and unlike most schemes it isn't restricted to winter peak period; Renewable Balancing Reserve runs throughout the year.

About Renewable Balancing Reserve

  • Renewable Balancing Reserve enables businesses to earn revenue in return for unlocking their flexibility by sharing the imbalance savings
  • These savings are based on the actual imbalance price provided by Elexon
  • The service operates via a web-based portal, so no hardware installation is required
  • Interested businesses set the times during which they can participate, along with the minimum price per MWh that they are willing to accept
  • Based on those customer settings, DONG Energy alerts relevant businesses of the times during which they need businesses to turn down consumption or ramp up on-site generation, along with the revenue available (based on Elexon imbalance costs)
  • Businesses then confirm whether they wish to participate and the volume that the can contribute: there is no firm commitment and no penalty for non-participation
  • Participating businesses receive a £/MWh payment based on their actual consumption change during the RBR period
  • The service supports system balancing and renewable generation in the UK
  • DONG Energy's wind portfolio operates 24/7/365, so unlike other demand schemes that might only be available during peak winter period, Renewable Balancing Reserve supports system balancing throughout the year

For additional information, please contact:

James Platt - Ørsted
+44 20 7811 5519