Industrial Demand Response for Frequency Balancing and Voltage Control

Power-intensive industry has large loads and fast response time, and therefore already offer reserves for frequency balancing. Industrial loads can also adjust their active and reactive power consumption and provide voltage control services. Not all power-intensive industry is built to respond at sufficient speeds to offer frequency balancing services, and this solution concerns how industry can adjust its facilities to pro-vide frequency balancing. The solution also addresses the technical requirements for industrial loads to provide voltage control services.

Inertia 2020, New 4.0 and WindNODE are investigating how existing industry can adjust their facilities to provide frequency balancing or improve existing reserves. OSMOSE is preparing a demonstration of how industrial demand can change its reactive and active power consumption to provide voltage control services.

Currently, industrial loads offer frequency balancing according to the products defined in balancing markets. Fast frequency response (FFR) requires a response even faster than any existing product. Until now, there has been no need for FFR as a market product because of the ‘natural’ inertia in power plants such as hydro and gas. The integration of more renewable resources lacking ‘natural’ inertia, such as wind and PV, results in a need for fast responses from new sources. A pilot of Statnett’s project tested how large loads (hydro’s aluminium production) can offer FFR.

Components & enablers

  • Access to balancing and / or voltage or flexibility markets for industrial loads (medium- and large-scale)
  • Definition of new products, e.g. FFR and voltage control, in markets

Technical requirements:

To offer a sufficiently fast response to help with frequency imbalances, the industry must enable its consumption to be changed relatively fast, depending on what kind of frequency reserve it wants to offer. The FFR requires that 100% of the power offered can be activated within a period of 1 second. To participate in the frequency containment reserve (FCR) market, 50% of the offered power must be activated within 15 seconds and 100% within 30 seconds. The above requirement is applicable in the Nordic power system. However, in Central Europe there are different requirements.

State of the art in application and research

In Statnett’s pilot project with Hydro, the power offered was 30 MW within 1 second. This reserve, combined with other FFRs, was able to handle a change in frequency of 0.4 Hz. The project was successful and demonstrated the potential for large-scale industry to offer FFR, though there are some limitations to the amount of power available.

The New 4.0 project on flexibility from aluminium production was successfully able to offer FCR. It was able to offer ± 25 % of the nominal load in a period of up to 48 hours. The technology developed could be scaled up within 3–4 years.

In STORY and TILOS, the battery storage supports the interoperability of the network systems under demand side management aspects.

Technology Readiness Level

FFR: TRL 8 – System complete and qualified

The Nordic project Inertia 2020 led to the implementation of the FFR product in the Nordics from the summer 2020. FFR is procured by all TSOs in the Nordic synchronous area, currently through national procurements.

Existing production: TRL 9 – Implementation

Many of the projects aim to offer more flexibility by decreasing the response time and increasing the capacity, but industry offering frequency reserves is common in existing markets.

Voltage stability: TRL 3 – Research

OSMOSE is currently preparing to demonstrate how industrial demand can change its reactive and active power consumption to provide volt-age control services.

Current focus of R&D and research gaps

The ongoing Nordic project Inertia 2020 will further examine the results from the FFR pilot project and establish a common product description for FFR as well as creating acquisition guidelines for FFR capacity. In May 2020, FRR will go into operation.

The CoordiNet Project opens up significant new revenue streams for consumers and generators to provide grid services, particularly on demand-response.

CROSSBOW will propose a framework for the integration of demand side management existing solutions into the regional Transport Network. The platform will enable the cooperation between TSOs and DSOs.

In the GOFLEX, at the Valais demo site, at least 10 industrial partners and 200 to 250 residential customers are actively involved. In addition, 10 EV charging stations are installed within the framework of GOFLEX.


[1] Inertia 2020-FFR in Statnett with Hydro. [Link]

[2] New 4.0 [Link] :

  • Pilot: flexibility from heating facilities. [Link]
  • Pilot: flexibility from aluminium production. [Link]
  • Pilot: flexibility from steel production. [Link]

[3] WindNODE-Smart industrial load management in Berlin with load-shifting potential in the energy intensive industry. [Link]

[4] OSMOSE WP5. [Link]

[5] CoordiNet [Link]

[6] CROSSBOW [Link]

[7] GOFLEX [Link]

[8] Smarter EMC2 [Link]

[9] STORY [Link]

[10] TILOS [Link]

[11] WiseGRID [Link]

[12] NEBEF [Link]