- The Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA) this week announced eight winners of its 13th Annual PLMA Awards, tapping utility demand response and load management programs around the country in recognition of innovative ideas and successful programs.
- Duke Energy Florida’s large EnergyWise Home Program received a Program Pacesetter award, with more than 400,000 participants and more than a half million direct load control switches installed, helping the utility control 653 MW of load.
- On the technology side, PLMA selected Austin Energy as "one of the first" to successfully harness the Bring Your Own Thermostat (BYOT) concept, by partnering with technology manufacturers and actively promoting the utilization of open standards and protocols.
The eight programs selected by PLMA represent a wide range of technologies, partnerships and consumer outreach ideas, all aimed at helping utilities find ways to manage their peak load.
Duke Energy Florida, with the largest program highlighted, has 418,000 participating customers and 550,000 direct load control switches installed, which target centrally-ducted heating and cooling systems, electric water heaters and pool pumps, in exchange for monthly bill credits. The 653-MW load management program utilizes Comverge's IntelliSOURCE Demand Response Management System and wi-fi and cellular switches, after the utility transitioned away from internally-developed technologies.
"The utility has developed a way to more effectively and more frequently utilize resources for short-term energy demands, controlling water heaters more than 140 times per year, on average," PLMA noted.
PLMA also selected The Pacific Northwest Aggregated Demand Response Commercial Demonstration Project for a Pacesetter award. The 35-MW trial project combined multiple technologies and partners to harness demand response as a 10-minute balancing reserve integrating intermittent renewable generation by Bonneville Power Administration. The energy reduction was aggregated by Energy Northwest, a regional public power joint operating agency, and its public power utility partners, and operated "with great success" for a year, PLMA said.
"The partners created from scratch a scaleable demand response platform providing real-time SCADA control and performance reporting for a distributed energy resource portfolio," the group said. That included industrial load, battery energy storage, ADR 2.0 automated controls, and dispatchable voltage regulation.
Pacific Gas and Electric's Smart AC Program was selected for a Pacesetter. The program has over 150,000 customers with one-way paging load control devices that provide peak period load reduction of approximately 80 MW to 100 MW.
"When PG&E’s team set out to explore two-way load control switches and communication systems they discovered that the type of information available and the frequency of the information from these solutions were not adequate to mitigate identified operational risks, and effectively manage their program," PLMA said. The utility then worked with vendors who collaborated to reconfigure their products, resulting in increased benefits for using Smart Grid-based, two-way load control switches.
"As other utilities across the country look to upgrade their one-way load control systems to two-way, they will benefit in the groundwork PG&E has done," PLMA said.
Other winners included:
- Austin Energy, for being one of the first utilities "to successfully harness the BYOT concept." The utility partnered with technology manufacturers, and actively promoted the utilization of open standards and protocols, and enhanced its legacy commercial and industrial demand response programs utilizing a similar strategy
- National Grid, for its "comprehensive combination of technologies and strategies" in working with demand response. The utility's Smart Energy Solutions program provides customers smart thermostats, load control devices, web apps, and in-home displays to deliver real-time energy use and compelling messages alongside personal photographs, PLMA said.
- Australian utility United Energy achieved significant peak load reduction per home by leveraging the Bidgely ActionDR solution, delivered via the HomeBeat consumer mobile application. "The customer trial delivered personalized targets and real-time feedback to each customer via the HomeBeat app on their energy reduction efforts during the peak events," PLMA said.
- CPS Energy received a Thought Leader award for its "My Thermostat Rewards Holiday Splash," a Black Friday holiday promotional campaign partnered with retail and thermostat partners and social media which resulted in 1,745 new enrollments.
- An individual, Michael Brown, received a Thought Leader award as well, for creating the PLMA demand response training series.