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Honeywell and U.K.-based power management company Stor Generation Ltd. have launched a program in the U.K. aimed at stabilizing the electric grid as increasing solar and wind capacity comes online.

The companies say they will use Honeywell's Akuacom control software to temporarily trim energy use in commercial and industrial facilities, combining the excess power to help stabilize the electrical grid.

Under the program, Stor Generation will pay facility owners to lower consumption when the call for electricity starts to outpace what power plants and renewable resources are able to produce. Honeywell intends to work with these organizations to implement automated demand response (ADR), wherein it will identify, implement and automate short-term changes to heating and cooling equipment, lighting, and other building systems.

Stor Generation will then aggregate and provide the resulting reserves to utility National Grid for its Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) initiative. STOR and similar programs are intended to help ensure grid stability to compensate for spikes in consumption and times when intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar - an increasing part of the generation mix - are unable to supply power.

"The technology required to avoid a megawatt of consumption costs a fraction of that needed to pump out an additional megawatt," says Jeremy Eaton, vice president of Honeywell Smart Grid Solutions. "From a cost-benefit standpoint, ADR is the most prudent option for reducing energy use and is the most clean, sustainable path to energy reliability."

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