Swiss energy firm Alpiq has acquired demand response services firm Flexitricity, the UK’s market leader in the sector.
The acquisition represents a first move in Alpiq’s bid for a share of Europe’s decentralised energy management market, a strategy the company announced in late 2013. With Edinburgh-based Flexitricity, Alpiq said it has secured specialised know-how in this growth area as well as a broad portfolio of long-term energy clients in the UK.
The two firms did not disclose financial details of the agreement.
Flexitricity leads the UK’s demand response market sector in terms of volume and technical capability. Alpiq says it plans to continue developing Flexitricity’s energy management solutions and transfer them to other countries.
Demand management is increasingly important as more fluctuating power from renewable energy sources is integrated into the grid, and new business models are emerging. Among them is Flexitricity’s energy aggregation model, in which the electricity production and consumption of energy-intensive industrial, commercial and public-sector companies are aggregated into so-called virtual power plants. With these aggregated volumes the firm runs the UK’s largest live, open-market smart grid operation, supplying positive and negative reserves for ancillary services to the transmission and distribution system operators.
Among Flexitricity’s customers is the National Grid, which uses its reserve services for grid balancing.