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Strategic partnership between e2m and GELSENWASSER AG celebrates its first anniversary – status quo and quo vadis?

How the flexibility of waterworks and sewage treatment plants is used on the short-term power markets

Caption: Opening the market for waterworks and sewage treatment plants: Dr.-Ing. Dirk Waider, Dr. Agnes Janda (both Gelsenwasser AG) and Andreas Keil (e2m) have strengthened their partnership. Exactly one year ago, Energy2market GmbH (e2m) and GELSENWASSER AG (Gelsenwasser) announced their strategic partnership in control energy marketing at E-world in Essen. In this context, the recipe for success is combining the strengths of the two partners, the process and industry expertise of Gelsenwasser and the e2m experience in energy trading and the operation of virtual power plants (VPP). The companies have now explained the milestones which have been reached as well as the next steps envisaged. Individual sewage treatment plants have gradually begun to market flexibility and have been integrated into the joint VPP. And now one of the biggest sewage treatment plant operators, Emschergenossenschaft, has joined the co-operative venture.

Creative operator knowledge creates potential

Gelsenwasser and e2m see themselves as pioneers wishing to sustainably develop the potential of water and waste water industry plants within the power market.

Sewage treatment plants are among the biggest public authority power consumers - for which power is, first and foremost, a cost factor that needs to be reduced constantly. Accordingly, their operators energetically use all classical cost savings options, such as reducing energy consumption as far as possible, generating own power and concluding cost-effective power procurement contracts. Therefore, the challenge was to demonstrate two further refinements: On the one hand, that the targeted use of their generation and consumption units can generate significant cost savings (and even additional revenue) through the provision of system services. On the other hand, that this is possible at low cost in existing sewage treatments plants - without affecting their day-to-day operations. “To this end, we have launched pilot projects which provide orientation for other operators,“ explains Andreas Keil, managing director of e2m. “It was a conscious step for us to start with the technicians on site. The engineers at the sewage treatment plants and waterworks have proved that “control energy” as a product works. They know their plants and know which margins can be used reasonably and safely during day-to-day operations. And in the use of these we are jointly and gradually moving ahead. This helps to create a wealth of experience as well as the required routines and processes – step by step,” adds Dr. Janda, who holds responsibility for the sewage water treatment plant division at Gelsenwasser.

Control energy is only the beginning

After the successful integration of the sewage treatment plants into the control energy regime, the next steps will now follow. “Since the operators have collected the satisfactory experience proving that sporadic and minor interventions in the mode of operation of their plants can be smoothly integrated into daily operations, we will now move to the targeted use of own generation and targeted consumers,” explains Dr. Janda. “In this way, we will systematically increase value generation for the operators.” However, Andreas Keil does not deny that this step will also require significant information provision and marketing efforts. For example, he points out that, in order to reap the benefits, in future, most operators will have to relinquish the classic full power supply contracts they have grown to like so much. However, Gelsenwasser and e2m already have tailor-made products to replace these.

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Opening the market for waterworks and sewage treatment plants: Dr.-Ing. Dirk Waider, Dr. Agnes Janda (both Gelsenwasser AG) and Andreas Keil (e2m) have strengthened their partnership.

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