Glen Avon Growers: Commercial greenhouse keeps the price of their quality British produce low by reducing energy costs

AssetsCombined heat and power
ServicesEnergy supply, Balancing Mechanism and Capacity Market
Revenue & savings

~ £500,000 2012 – 2020


5MW / on average around 3MW of flexibility

“We’ve been able to keep energy costs down in an innovative way, allowing us to earn revenue by being flexible with our energy management on site. It’s all about remaining agile and working with the opportunities that are out there and Flexitricity has been able to offer us something that has perfectly met our requirements. “

David Schellingerhout, Managing Director, Glen Avon Growers

Glen Avon Growers, a third-generation family run business, was established in 1936 in Cottingham England, by the family’s grandfather.

From providing fresh produce for the local market in Hull, the business now has glasshouses spreading over 16 acres, producing tomatoes and cucumbers for major retailers such as ASDA.

Glen Avon was the first nursery in the country to have 100 per cent production on rock wool, moving to substrates rather than growing on soil.

Flexitricity services

To increase its yield and profitability, Glen Avon Growers uses its CHP engines alongside biomass boilers to maintain the required volumes of CO2 and heat for the crop.

Each site requires one CHP running seven days a week from March to September for production of CO2 with additional heat required in colder months. Outside of this core site requirement, there is a huge opportunity to maximise income from the CHPs when not in use.

Flexitricity’s role is to identify flexibility outwith crop growing requirements and make that flexibility available to National Grid at the right time and the right price, maximising revenue for the site. 

We operate a 24/7 control room in Edinburgh which allows us to optimise value through continuous analysis fed by up-to-the-second measurement the energy markets and each site’s capabilities and needs.

There are several sources of revenue for flexible consumers and small generators, and the most lucrative options change from time to time. Glen Avon was able to earn revenue through STOR for a number of years but has recently switched to trading in the Balancing Mechanism.

Customer benefits

Energy accounts for a third of all costs for Glen Avon Growers. With these costs continuing to rise, it was vital that Glen Avon explored opportunities to drive greater efficiencies in its management of energy on site. That's why, in 2011, Glen Avon Growers started working with Flexitricity as part of a strategy to develop sustainable revenue opportunities and maintain competitive prices for its customers.

Taking advantage of these energy market opportunities has enabled Glen Avon to earn additional revenue from its assets to off-set energy costs, while maintaining competitively priced produce for their customers.

Next steps

David Schellingerhout, Managing Director, Glen Avon Growers: “We’ve achieved a lot so far working with Flexitricity, and we have the confidence to expand. Further plans are already in motion following the recent installation of an additional 2MW CHP unit which will support our plans for growth.”

All performance claims made within this testimonial, both technical and financial, were true at time of writing. Claims relating to past performance of certain asset classes do not represent a guarantee of future results for assets in the same class or other asset types

Get in touch today

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