The integration of buildings and electromobility in the electric power system already makes it possible to shift loads flexibility, but the total scope of this undertaking is still being examined. Further possibilities to manage loads that haven’t yet been tapped lie with commercial and industrial enterprises. It must first be ascertained to what extent load management in these enterprises can contribute to the optimization of current grid operation. One question, for example, is how great their total flexibility is in relation to the total load. The larger it is, the better it is for the grid operator, who becomes able to balance out load peaks on the power grid. On the other hand, the focus is on the economic advantages of load shifting for industrial and commercial customers who receive financial compensation if a load is shifted or if a system has to go offline. It remains to be determined how extensive the compensation must be in order to balance out a possible production stoppage or overtime on weekends.
Due to the great amount of electricity they use compared to residential customers, industrial customers have a high load-shifting potential, though the exact level must be determined by each individual company. The first cooperation with an industrial enterprise took place during SGMS with a company that can deal with up to 4.7 MW of flexible load by controlling the operation of mills. This corresponds to a potential that is much larger than the buildings examined in the Building to Grid project and can be put to use with comparably little investment.
In this pilot project, Salzburg Netz GmbH installed the controller components locally and handled the data transfer and the integration of the units into the control centre.
Figure 1: Communication for load management for industrial customers
The necessary programming in the local control system was carried out by the company. Finally, the energy supplier (Salzburg AG) and the grid operator (Salzburg Netz GmbH) created a schedule with the planned shutdown times for the mills and transmitted the automated control commands to the company. Since it won’t be possible for industrial customers to go without the machines used in production, they should always have the possibility to stop planned shutdowns. The scope of communication is described in Figure 1.
The possible consequences for industrial enterprises are significant wear and tear on machines and the creation of additional costs by shifting production times and therefore working hours. Thus, the financial benefit for industrial customers is the most important factor.
Furthermore, flexible load management is not possible in every company. It is necessary that the facility has a storage system that can act as a buffer for a temporary shutdown. A second point is minimum quantity of goods produced that would ensure that the implementation of flexible load management would make sense.
Figure 2: Optimization of load management in the pilot project based on spot market prices
This allows loads to be shifted using the current market mechanisms at the time – as shown in Figure 2 – and the benefits that are derived to be shared with the companies. The present fixed-price system for interruptible service gives grid operators very few options to create financial incentives using network tariffs to shift loads. In the future, a detailed examination should be conducted of the type of incentives in the network tariff that would be necessary to prompt industrial customers to shift their loads to such an extent that this would be beneficial to the grid operator.
In contrast to the individual approach necessary for industrial customers, the load-shifting potential of a commercial enterprise has been found to be applicable to other companies in this sector. One example is the retail sector, where a large number of chain shops together would also offer great opportunities for load management.
For this reason, the Load Management Potential in Businesses  research project is analyzing the electricity consumption of 30 individual businesses in Salzburg along with the load they actually need over the course of a day. The goal of the analysis is to identify which electricity loads can be managed over the short and the long term without limiting any part of the work that is being done in the company. It also aims to determine the amount of possible energy savings on electricity costs different types of businesses and sectors can achieve, but also which incentives are necessary to implement demand response management through suitable business models. In addition, a projection of the sectors examined in the project will be used to estimate the total potential in SGMS.
 Project management for this project is carried out by B.A.U.M. Consult GmbH. It is sponsored by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) through the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). Salzburg AG is a co-operation partner.