How ancillary services keep Ceska Lipa warm – even in times of crisis

Česká lípa,  1. September 2022

MVV provides heat to the entire city of Ceska Lipa. At Nano Energies, we work together to ensure operations are stable, even when commodities' prices rise, thanks to a new energy product: Ancillary Services.

Evolution of a long-standing cooperation  

The heating plant in Česka lipa is owned by MVV Energie CZ and provides energy and heating to the entire town. They operate in about 15 cities in the Czech Republic and produce energy for thousands of people. Their main task is to provide heat energy for homes and businesses, primarily in winter. At Nano Energies, we have many years of experience with MVV, thanks to its cooperation in the flexible management of combined heat and power (CHP) units.

In a quarter of an hour in the network  

The situation with the supply of commodities is complicated at the time of writing. Prices have more than tripled in the past year. MVV provides a critical service. The ability to feel safe and warm in one's home can be considered a human necessity. It is important that they can carry out their task without interruption.

Based on long-standing cooperation with us, MVV decided to use their CHP units with a total installed capacity of 4.9 MWe and a storage tank where the produced heat is stored during overproduction, to provide ancillary services to the Czech transmission system.

We have been working on the transition from the Flexibility product to the Ancillary Services product since the beginning of 2021, when the Czech legislation allowed it to be put into practice. The primary objective of Ancillary Services is to ensure a balance between generation and consumption on the electricity grid. The customer is paid for supporting the stabilization of the electricity grid and must guarantee the rate of change of the equipment's output within 12.5 minutes or less.

Over time, we reached the stage where we could entirely remotely control MVV's CHP units. We installed the "NanoBox" directly to the CHP infrastructure to remotely switch the unit on and off. It is also required because performing ancillary services requires measurement in 1-second intervals - something the NanoBox provides. Our analytical models ensure the maximization of income from ancillary services while operating plans are determined based on the results of daily auctions.

3
CHP units
4,9
MWe total output
15
minutes is the time limit
3005
MTH/year​​​​​: number of operating hours

Ancillary Services are best suited to these technologies:

  • CHP units
  • biogas plants
  • industrial consumption
  • back-up energy sources

You have the last word

To provide ancillary services in the aggregation unit, we had to conduct a thorough analysis and determine the operating conditions - even in combination with the optimization of production according to CHP (i.e., combined heat and power or cogeneration). 

MVV must provide ancillary services within a maximum of 12.5 minutes (depending on the agreed service speed) upon request from the transmission system operator ČEPS, so at Nano Energies, we carefully monitor all critical indicators in the customer's power system. For the needs of Ancillary Services, we use a storage tank, which is handled in real-time by our analytical models - so that sufficient reserve is left and operation is always ensured following the required heat demand. 

If the system operator ČEPS instructs us to stabilize the network, MVV as a customer, always has the final say on whether it wants to provide the service. And if it does, the additional revenue or remuneration for activating the service will not pass it by.

Results after six months

One of the main objectives of the cooperation was to adapt the operation of the 1,800 cubic meter storage tank, which is mainly used in the morning and evening peaks to cover them. That is now being kept half empty and ready to provide ancillary services when requested by the transmission system operator.

The cooperation with Nano Energies contributes to the financial stability of the Česká Lípa heating plant, which is now planning to expand its business by installing electric boilers so that it can also provide these capacities to ČEPS for support services.

„"The provision of ancillary services is of great benefit to our company. In the current difficult energy situation, when the price of input fuels is constantly rising, it helps us to overcome the critical situation.""