FCAS Explained: Why Australia Needs Frequency Response
What is FCAS?
FCAS (Frequency Control Ancillary Services) is an important service designed and operated by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to prevent black outs and power failures. In case of an event e.g. loss of supply or insufficient generation to meet demand, FCAS enables commercial and industrial energy users to very quickly and briefly change their energy consumption. In return, FCAS participants receive payments, for helping keep the frequency of the electricity grid within a normal operating band when most needed.
What happens during an FCAS Event?
Frequency events typically occur when, from time to time, power generation units or electricity lines fail. When grid frequency deviates outside of normal limits, energy users receive a signal to change their energy consumption. When the frequency returns to the required level, or after a maximum of 10 minutes, the signal is removed and energy consumption can return to normal. Due to the fast speed of response required by AEMO, the frequency event detection, signal and response must be automated using advanced Fast Frequency Response technology.
What are the benefits of participating in FCAS?
Energy users can generate substantial new revenues for participating in FCAS, without impacting their core business of producing goods or providing customer services. The faster FCAS participants react to grid power system needs, the more they can earn.
Participation in FCAS also provides a tangible demonstration of how these energy users are supporting the operation of the grid and increasing the use of renewable energy in Australia. Our customers allow more carbon intensive power plants to be turned off and more renewable energy to be turned on.
How can I take part in FCAS?
If your commercial or industrial business has onsite back-up generation or equipment that can have its electricity consumption reduced for brief periods, then FCAS could be a viable opportunity for your business.
Suitable equipment may include air conditioning, ventilation, electric heating, water chillers, fans, pumps, and other interruptible loads.
If you’d like to discuss your site’s suitability for FCAS or learn how it can fit into your energy management strategy, our technical team are happy to provide a no-obligation technical discovery meeting. Simply get in touch and we’ll do the rest.
How our customers participate
What are the key characteristics of FCAS?
|Frequency||Low. 10-15 events a year|
|Response Time||Fast. Within seconds.|
|Duration||Short. Typically seconds. Customer can choose maximum duration of 1, 5 or 10mins.|
|Time of Day||Frequency events can occur at any time. Typically in the afternoon or evening.|
|Revenue||Paid when available, not per event.|
|Participation||Voluntary. Can opt-out when required e.g. for a nominated period after an event.|
VIOTAS has extensive experience in helping energy users assess and unlock their potential to earn money from frequency services. Our leading modular and scalable technology can be tailored to suit customers of varying sizes and industries. VIOTAS technologies monitor and respond to frequency events at such fast speeds, that we enable our customers to earn revenue from new frequency service markets as they are implemented.
The faster Fast Frequency Response participants react to grid power system needs, the more they can earn. Our market-leading Fast Frequency Response technology, VIO Link, reduces the time it takes your equipment to respond to power system requirements from minutes to milliseconds by monitoring the state of the grid 8,000 times per second.
Our unified solutions and eco-system mean that everything works in harmony, and we react faster to market requirements, seizing commercial opportunities sooner for our customers and providing greater energy reliability and stability.
Choosing VIOTAS as your FCAS partner means your business can access the fastest and most lucrative market products and futureproof against greater frequency response performance requirements.
Not only are you adding an additional revenue stream to your bottom line, you are helping to grow sustainable and renewable energy usage across the grid and supporting your green credentials.