Rocky Mountain Power proposes 600-battery apartment building among trio of Utah DSM projects
- PacifiCorp subsidiary Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) has asked the Public Service Commission of Utah for authorization to implement three "innovative utility programs" it says were authorized by the Sustainable Transportation and Energy Plan (STEP) Act of 2016, focusing on transportation, storage and grid management.
- The programs include a battery demand response project in a 600-unit multi-family development, and an intermodal transportation charging and power balancing system to be developed with the Utah State University’s Sustainable Electrified Transportation Center and the state's transit authority.
- RMP's application is its fifth tranche of proposed STEP programs, and the utility said the funding for the programs has already been earmarked.
RMP is looking to transportation electrification and energy storage as the keys to operating its grid in a more efficient manner. The company told regulators its proposal would combine the "vast diversity of needs at an intermodal transit center" to create multi-megawatt co-located, coordinated, and managed charging systems that could help reduce infrastructure and operating costs.
"The approach combines, at a single site, the electric needs of a light rail system, electric buses, interstate and urban passenger and truck traffic, park-and-ride customers, and first-and-last mile ride hailing and car share service providers," James Campbell, RMP policy and projects adviser, explained in filed testimony.
Charging at the multi modal transportation hub will include EV chargers with outputs of 400 KW per charger; RMP said its project will help to address a "primary challenge" of higher wattage chargers: higher grid infrastructure and operation costs that in turn require higher utilization rates.
Another proposal is the Battery Demand Response Project, which RMP would execute in partnership with Wasatch Development. Plans call for installation of individual batteries in each unit of a 600-unit multi-family development to be constructed.
"The batteries would be charged by solar facilities, and the company would have control of the batteries to deploy them for system-wide demand response," RMP told regulators.
RMP said its original STEP application included almost $8 million for "Other Innovative Technology." It requested approximately $1.96 million for the Intermodal Hubs Project and $3.27 million for the Battery Demand Response Project.
The third project includes the installation of automated meter reading facilities, communication radios on distribution line equipment and deployment of additional line sensor technology, which RMP said will allow its control center operators real-time access to information during major outages.
"Installation of the ERT meters will also allow residential and small commercial customers access to interval
energy data, which can allow them to make better financial decisions regarding their energy usage," RMP told regulators.
RMP estimated the Advanced Resiliency Management System project would provide more than $71 million in reliability benefits to Utah customers over the next 25 years. The utility requested authorization to spend $16.5 million in STEP funds for project from a mix of funding sources in its original application.
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