White paper, training explore evolution of demand response

Utilities have long used demand response to deal with high wholesale electricity prices or generation shortfall. What was once accomplished with phone calls to large industrial customers or one-way controls on aggregated residential loads is now done in near-real time with sophisticated two-way communication. Yet, despite the fact that this strategy has become an integral part of grid operations in the U.S., there has been no agreement on a definition of demand response.

The Peak Load Management Association You are leaving WAPA.gov. (PLMA) set out last year to develop a consistent definition for demand response to use across its three training courses on the topic. A demand response dialogue that included several experts in the field took place in September 2016 and was recorded and archived on the PLMA website. At the 2016 PLMA conference later that year, the discussion continued with a panel presentation, Defining the Evolution of Demand Response: From 1.0 to 3.0 and Beyond.

Demand response evolution

Artwork by Peak Load Management Association

Three epochs
The white paper from these discussions breaks down demand response into three periods beginning with the first interruptible tariffs for large commercial and industrial customers. Demand response was primarily used to provide energy (MWh) and capacity (MW) during periods of high wholesale prices, shortfall of generation or transmission capacity or unexpected emergency grid-operating situations. Utility staff contacted a commercial customer, usually a day or hours ahead of a forecasted event, to manually change power consumption onsite. Also, residential customers voluntarily allowed utilities to install load-control devices to cycle their water heaters and air conditioners. Verification usually came from the utility meter which was read on its regular cycle.

Current demand response strategies provide more precise energy and capacity to support the wholesale marketplace, along with sophisticated, near-instantaneous ancillary services such as non-spinning and spinning reserves and frequency and voltage support. Measurement and verification occur in almost real-time measurements (either utility or non-utility) and often serve as confirmation of customer performance during demand response events. Two-way communication also allows for greater customer feedback and engagement.

Demand response is evolving to be a component of broader distributed energy resources both behind and in front of the meter. The service benefits demand response offers in this capacity, both to the grid operator and to the customer, include volt/var control, renewable energy integration and localized distribution system congestion management. The future of demand response may move away from traditional utility control to automatic, pre-programmed triggers based on price thresholds.

Learn more
Two upcoming courses expand on PLMA’s demand response white paper to provide utility and regulatory staff and industry trade allies with a greater understanding of the evolution of demand response. Join subject matter experts from PLMA member organizations in Portland, Oregon, Sept. 26 or in San Francisco, California, Oct. 25.

Presentations will cover current technology and market conditions, utility case studies and more. Demand response will be compared to other load management strategies, and participants will discuss how to design a load management portfolio that serves your utility’s needs.

The training is open to all industry stakeholders, with significantly discounted rates to PLMA member organization staff.

Source: Peak Load Management Association, 8/8/17

Tell us what you want from Energy Services

When Western’s Energy Services regional representatives get together to talk about the program, it is not a subdued affair. The five regions within Western are all different from each other, and each representative brings a different perspective on what customers in their service territory need. One thing we do share is a passion for serving our customers, so the discussions can get pretty lively. At the end of a good meeting, however, we walk away with new ideas, renewed determination and a better understanding of the challenges customers face in other regions.

That is a pretty good description of what happened at the annual “face-to-face” meeting Energy Services held at Western Headquarters in October. The meeting gives Energy Services representatives an opportunity to plan for the coming year and to let management, the marketing team and the Equipment Loan Program know what kind of support their efforts need. This year’s meeting was particularly crucial since Western recently parted company with Energy Experts. We are exploring ways to offer customers more relevant technical assistance to replace the resources of the online service provider.

Feeling changes
The utility industry is standing on shifting ground, and power providers across Western’s service territory are feeling the changes. Complying with new regulations, joining a regional transmission organization, competing with new technologies and services, planning for extreme weather and meeting renewable goals and mandates are only a few of the issues keeping customers awake at night.

As we talked (and talked!) about how we can help our customers manage these and other concerns, one word kept coming up: training. The old saying, “Knowledge is power,” is old for a reason. Understanding even just the basics about a situation gives you more control and more options for dealing with it.

Western is in a great position to deliver training, too, in part, thanks to its Electric Power Training Center. For years, EPTC has delivered the highest quality power systems operation training to diverse audiences from power plant operators to dispatchers to support staff who just want to learn more about the business. It  streamlines the process of enrolling participants and hosting workshops.

Creating new product
Energy Services would like to extend EPTC course offerings to other aspects of utility business, such as long-range resource planning, load management and renewables and efficiency integration. Our contacts at the departments of Energy and Agriculture, utilities, universities and professional organizations give us access to experts on a wide array of topics. Training could be offered as on-site workshops or webinars, depending on interest and subject matter.

Speaking of subject matter, this is where you, our customer, can help us. The regional representatives came up with a long list of potential training topics, and we need your help to prioritize it. Please look over the following topics and select your top five concerns:

Your input required
It is quite a list, and likely far from complete. Feel free to add your own ideas about training that could help you or your staff feel more prepared to deal with today’s challenges and the ones you see coming.

Send your suggestions for workshops (or publications, or other types of technical assistance) to your regional representative or to the Energy Services manager. Energy Services is, after all, your program, and we are eager to hear what you want it to be.

Register for National Geothermal Summit

GEA_logo

The National Geothermal Summit, June 3-4, 2015, is sponsored by the Geothermal Energy Association.

Early-bird discount ends April 17

June 3-4, 2015
Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
Reno, Nevada

The only thing better than attending the fifth annual National Geothermal Summit is getting a discount on your registration for the premier forum of the geothermal industry. Get in on that great deal by registering before April 17 to receive the early-bird discount for Geothermal Policies as Stimulus for Economic Growth and Environmental Quality.

Issues abound
The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) sponsors the summit, this year taking place June 3-4 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada. Expect a packed agenda covering such timely topics as:

  • The potential role of geothermal energy in state initiatives and plans for addressing climate change
  • The ability of geothermal resources to tackle tomorrow’s power needs
  • Local economic benefits of geothermal
  • The importance of geothermal for reliability of the grid
  • Valuing geothermal for power contracts
  • The future outlook for the geothermal industry in the US

Confirmed speakers include representatives from Western customers Los Angeles Department of Water and PowerRedirecting to a non-government site Imperial Irrigation DistrictRedirecting to a non-government site and Sacramento Municipal Utility DistrictRedirecting to a non-government site. All three utilities have extensive experience with blending geothermal generation into their portfolios.

Recognizing excellence
In addition to informative workshops, the summit offers many opportunities to network with colleagues and industry leaders, including coffee breaks, luncheon and kick-off and closing receptions. As part of the opening reception on June 3, GEA and Gold sponsor Ormat will award the 2015 GEA Honors.

The awards recognize contributions made in the past year that have advanced technology, business and environmental sustainability through geothermal energy. Geothermal business leaders may nominate individuals or companies in the following categories:

  • Technological Advancement: For pioneering new ideas or innovative technology in geothermal energy.
  • Economic Development: For contributing to the development of local, regional or national markets through geothermal systems.
  • Environmental Stewardship: For promoting environmental sustainability through geothermal systems.
  • Special Recognition: For outstanding achievements in the geothermal energy industry.

Anyone may submit a nomination. GEA board members will evaluate submissions and select the awards based on:

  • Involvement in the industry
  • Contributions to the development and promotion of the industry
  • Leadership and success
  • Innovative use or furthering of industry resources
  • Positive overall environmental footprint (air/water/land protection)
  • Community engagement and education
  • Job creation

The deadline for GEA Honors submissions is May 15. Download and complete the online application and submit it to Yasmin Romitti by May 15. You may also contact Romitti at 202-454-5263 to learn about sponsorship opportunities or to request press credentials.

Source: Western’s Green Power News via Geothermal Energy Association, 3/25/15

Workshops highlight agricultural energy audits

The new Center for Agricultural Energy Redirecting to a non-government site (CAE) at Colorado State University is offering a winter workshop series for power providers and their food producer customers.

 Each workshop will focus on the potential benefits of agricultural energy audits and will be supplemented by information on energy topics such as biofuels, small hydropower and anaerobic digestion, to name a few. The series begins Jan. 31, with a workshop in Wellington, Colo., on how agricultural energy audits relate to energy efficiency and anaerobic digestion.

The events are taking place around Colorado, with local agricultural organizations co-hosting. Most workshops are free and lunch will be provided for those who pre-register. Visit CAE to see the agenda Redirecting to a non-government site and register.

LED workshop focuses on municipal uses

The City of San José, Calif., hosted the Municipal Solid State Lighting Consortium’s (MSSL)   final workshop of the 2011 fiscal year Aug. 25 and 26.

Following a welcome by San José Mayor Chuck Reed, 88 attendees spent a day and a half exploring topics that included: 

  • City of San José LED Street Lighting Program
  • Reading and Understanding LM-79 & LM-80
  • Cost Benefit Analysis Financial Tools – Evaluating the Impacts
  • LED Streetlights and the Environment
  • Calculating Light Loss Factors in the LED World
  • The MSSLC Consortium’s LED Luminaire Specification
  • Purchasing an LED and Advanced Control System – Lessons Learned
  • California LED Street Lighting Tariff Pilot Program for Variable Usage
  • Technology and Market Assessment of Networked Outdoor Lighting Controls – NEEA Study
  • MSSLC Specification – Remote Monitoring and Adaptive Lighting Control Systems

Audience participation was particularly strong for the session, Cost Benefit Analysis Financial Tools, presented by Emma Berndt of Clinton Climate Initiative. The need for such a tool became evident when the speaker asked who would download this program when it became available, and just about everyone in the audience raised their hands. This presentation, along with Jason Tuenge’s presentation on the new luminaire specification, energized attendees with anticipation for these two documents that MSSL will release over the next few weeks.

Attendees also had opportunities to network during extended breaks and lunch.  Participants came from as far away as Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. Thursday evening, most of the attendees joined a bus tour of San José’s residential and arterial street outdoor LED lighting and controls pilot installations. The outing included a tour of the Philips Lumileds LED fabrication plant in San José, providing an overview on how this technology works. Attendees learned which fixtures and which applications result in best performance and the most energy savings. 

According to attendee surveys, the workshop offered much-needed insight into the use of LEDs in municipal applications. Download the workshop presentations and other materials to learn more.

The MSSL Consortium is busy planning educational activities for the new fiscal year. Expect a webinar this fall on the Cost Benefit Analysis financial tools.