SIMEC Energy, part of the GFG Alliance, has partnered with intelligent energy technology and flexibility leader GridBeyond to participate in the GB Frequency Response Market, helping National Grid balance and decarbonise the energy network whilst generating substantial savings.

Since November 2020, SIMEC Energy’s Lochaber hydroelectric plant – which supplies 100% renewable electricity to GFG-owned ALVANCE Aluminium’s Lochaber smelter – has been able to provide up to 40MW of its energy flexibility to the Frequency Response Market by connecting its rectifiers and hydro-generators to intelligent energy technology platform GridBeyond Point.

The platform, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, places SIMEC Energy’s hydroelectric flexibility in the National Grid’s Low Frequency Static scheme. The service uses the inherent energy flexibility of large energy users – in this case ALVANCE Aluminium’s Lochaber smelter – to support grid balancing and increases the integration of renewable energy into the electricity network.

The collaboration with GridBeyond supports GFG Alliance’s commitment to minimise its companies’ environmental impact and increase efficiency and sustainability by applying cutting-edge energy technology. The hydroelectric energy, which is stored on the slopes of the UK’s highest mountain Ben Nevis and supplies ALVANCE Aluminium’s smelter, – ensures that the aluminium produced at Lochaber is some of the most sustainable on the market.

GridBeyond has worked with numerous leading metal casting businesses across multiple regional markets, enabling their participation in energy services and providing access to a range of monitoring tools that improve operational efficiency and strengthen energy management strategies and green credentials. The company is also a member of the American Foundry Society.

Ian Love, Power and Hydro Manager at SIMEC Energy, commented: "This is a fantastic partnership and one which both benefits the National Grid and enables SIMEC Energy’s assets to provide more renewable energy, cementing GFG Alliance’s commitment to be carbon neutral in 2030.

"Working with GridBeyond has allowed us to explore new avenues in the changing energy market while maintaining our vision and core values to create a sustainable economic, social, and environmental future for the Lochaber smelter & power station".

Mark Davis, Managing Director UK & Ireland at GridBeyond commented: "We are proud to work with SIMEC Energy and support the National Grid with the development of a reliable, carbon-neutral electricity network.

"Assets commonly used by aluminium smelters, such as furnaces, rectifiers and on-site generators provide, on average, very high levels of energy flexibility. This makes them perfectly positioned to participate in energy services and benefit from access to new revenue streams, increased sustainability and enhanced energy performance.

"SIMEC Energy’s green and proactive approach to energy management and its openness to new technologies can be an example for other I&C businesses on how to make the most out of the opportunities presented by the transitioning energy markets".