Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities) has teamed up with AutoGrid to deploy demand response software.
The partnership will allow Springs Utilities to consolidate management of its demand response resources into a unified system.
Springs Utilities leverages demand response to accomplish peak-load management, allowing the utility to defer generation additions and aiding in its transition toward a higher carbon-free electric generation mix.
With the deployment of this software, qualifying commercial and industrial customers now have the option to participate in Springs Utilities' Peak Savings Programme. This programme is designed to save energy by reducing use during critical peak-demand periods and provide savings to its customers. The Peak Savings Programme is slated to achieve 40MW of flexible load capacity by 2020.
With the AutoGrid Flex platform, Springs Utilities can offer cost-saving opportunities to its customers from a single, unified dashboard. Springs Utilities can also automatically and remotely shift or reduce electricity use as per the contract with its participating customers, enroll and engage customers dynamically, send personalised notifications based on customer preferences, and measure and verify energy-savings results in a statistically robust and rigorous manner.
AutoGrid Flex is designed to optimise and extract flexible capacity from all distributed energy resources (DERs), including thermostats, water heaters, distributed generation such as solar panels, battery storage and electric vehicles.
For now, Springs Utilities will use the AutoGrid Demand Response Optimisation and Management System (DROMS) module of Flex to manage its commercial and industrial demand programmes.
Springs Utilities also will use AutoGrid Engage, a custom-branded customer portal that plugs into Flex, to interact with customers. Engage allows customers to enroll in utility programmes, view programme details, provide them with real-time use data and curtailment history, and receive alerts for new demand response events.
"The Peak Savings Programme will help us empower our customers with choices to control their energy use while being good stewards of the environment," said Kenny Romero, Springs Utilities Demand Side Management and Renewable Energy Solutions manager. "By reducing our peak demand, we are able to defer or avoid costly infrastructure upgrades and increase the reliability of our system. Both of which are benefits to all our customers."
"Consumers want more choices in how they use energy and how they interact with their energy providers," said Dr. Amit Narayan, AutoGrid chief executive officer. "With this initiative, Colorado Springs Utilities has taken an important step towards grid modernisation and active customer engagement that will allow them to rapidly incorporate new technologies to meet their customers' needs."