FCAS Helps Intercast Support Grid Stability

Intercast and viotas

Customer Background

Starting out in 1946, Intercast & Forge has become a world leader in applying innovation and technology to iron castings, and is now Australia’s largest iron foundry. For more than 70 years, they have been successfully manufacturing components for the rail, mining, and automotive industries, supplying a majority of the Australian market and exporting up to 70% of their components to over 60 countries around the world.

Intercast’s Wingfield operations in South Australia consist of four electric induction furnaces that melt down iron under strict quality controls. Decades of innovation have enabled the business to be efficient and flexible with the ability to switch from one production run to another in under three minutes.

 

The Challenge

Intercast have a long and progressive record of supporting the grid, having participated in emergency demand response events in collaboration with the grid operator, to help keep the lights on across South Australia.

To increase their levels of grid participation and generate additional revenue, Intercast investigated how they could enter the potentially more lucrative FCAS (Frequency Control Ancillary Services) market. What they found was that to succeed in the frequency response market, specialist hardware and a dynamic interface with the energy market was needed to constantly bid in the available load that can be dispatched to support the grid in times of need.

The decision was taken to source a suitable partner who could advise Intercast on the best solutions and support their entry into the FCAS marketplace.

 

The Solution

When approached by Intercast, the VIOTAS Australia team was able to design a suitable solution for FCAS participation through the use of VIO Link, our advanced demand response technology, and the VIOTAS 24/7 Operations centre.

Due to the short duration of frequency disturbances, operational downtime is short, typically a few minutes at a time. On occasions when Intercast cannot afford interruptions due to tight production timelines, VIOTAS offered Intercast the flexibility to opt out by utilizing a switch on the VIO Link panel, or by contacting our 24-hour operations centre.

Thanks to a thorough collaboration with Intercast’s onsite technical staff and contractors, VIOTAS and Intercast were able to automate the load shedding of the furnaces in response to frequency disturbances in the grid. Automated load shedding ensures the grid operator can maintain the grid frequency within their tight operating band and prevents blackouts for the region. Intercast in turn get paid for their part in supporting the power system.

 

The Result

Smooth & Successful FCAS Participation

Upon completion of the VIO Link installation, Intercast’s Wingfield site successfully completed market compliance tests and is now smoothly participating in Frequency Response services for the grid.

The super-fast response capability of our VIO Link technology has ensured that Intercast are able to be dispatched faster than the market requires, providing a much higher than anticipated level of support for the grid, more than 12MW of flexible load.

 

“Increasing our participation in Demand Response was a no-brainer for us and partnering with VIOTAS enabled us to enter the FCAS market with minimal effort and disruption on our side.

Intercast is not only supporting the grid through demand response, but is now able to react instantaneously to frequency control events in a commercially beneficial partnership which helps keep the lights on and reduce carbon emissions across South Australia.”

Brett Lawrence, General Manager, Intercast & Forge