NRG fires up new distributed analytics platform for SoCal Edison contract

Dive Brief:

  • NRG Energy last week announced new offers for commercial and industrial customers to help it meet 60 MW of load management promised to Southern California Edison, part of the utility's 250 MW storage procurement efforts.
  • NRG's efforts will link demand response, efficiency and thermal storage, with one of the larger components being a partnership with Ice Energy to provide more than 25 MW of peak storage capacity to SCE under 20-year power purchase agreements.
  • Greentech Media digs into the announcement and reports on the company's new "SpaceTag" analytics program that will help manage the resources by combining data on commercial and industrial buildings and the value of distributed energy resources.

Dive Insight:

Last week, NRG announced how it would bring together 60 MW of demand management resources it had committed to provide to SCE.

The company made passing mention of its "SpaceTag" system, a "patent-pending geospatial analytics software platform," and GTM followed up with the company's Vice President of Implementation, Kevin Berkemeyer.

According to Berkemeyer, the new system was originally developed to improve customer acquisition, but "it’s evolved significantly since then" and is now the main focus of the team he leads.

The company's announcement says it used in-house technology to develop a platform capable of determining "the compatibility of different buildings across a target region for distributed energy products by harvesting, synthesizing and analyzing data for business locations."

Greentech points out that NRG's generation, retail arm and renewables experience give it a lot of data to inform the system.

"We’re able to take data that’s publicly available, and also leverage a lot of the data we currently have (that’s proprietary) to determine optimal solutions," Berkemeyer said.

The system will help identify the ideal DER mix for building in SCE's service area, and eventually manage different distributed resources, like those NRG is rolling out for the utility.

One such product is Ice Energy's "Bear" solution, a distributed ice battery that stores cooling energy in off-peak hours by freezing water in an insulated storage tank. According to the company, the devices can help reduce air conditioning bills by up to 40%. 

NRG is also working with Lockheed Martin on an energy efficiency program addressing commercial HVAC, industrial refrigeration, process cooling, compressors, and lighting for SCE commercial and industrial customers. The offerings aim to provide 30 MW of peak demand reduction.

Finally, NRG announced it has launched a 5 MW demand response program for commercial and industrial customers willing to participate in curtailment during peak events and receive payments in return.

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Filed Under: Distributed Energy
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