Load flexing of industrial refrigeration systems at abattoirs

Purpose of project

The project will research the feasibility of abattoirs flexing the electrical demand of their refrigeration plants by using advanced simulations and controls with thermal storage systems. The research will deliver the costs and benefits for making such changes to abattoirs and the potential for all industrial refrigeration plants in Australia with a load flexing potential in excess of 2GWhrs per day (excluding cold stores). This project will assist the meat industry achieve its target of being carbon neutral by 2030. The project will also assist network operators with issues such as minimum demand.


This study will enable abattoirs to have confidence in load flexing technology. We estimate that electricity bills could be reduced by up to 10% across abattoirs, which is significant in an industry that is seeking to improve its competitiveness internationally. This will come at a net kWh consumption increase due to increase in thermal leakage due to lower storage temperatures, and the total carbon savings will depend on each case, however we expect a 2-3% reduction in emissions would be possible by providing the ability to utilise and store a higher portion of renewable energy. This project will identify new load flexing capability of more than 200MW.hrs per day within 5 years across a range of industries that use industrial refrigeration. This project will also work with AGL to undertake research to understand the potential to increase minimum grid demand during middle of the day peak solar production, which has an economic benefit to abattoirs (as above) but also a saving in terms of deferred asset spend for network operators.

Project partners – industry and research

AGL, AMPC, A2EP, Glaciem, Deta Consulting, UTS

Completion date

December 2021