Illinois selects DR capacity providers to meet 2019/2020 demand


The Illinois Power Agency has selected Voltus as one of three suppliers of demand response capacity in 2019 and 2020.

Voltus and the other two companies have been tasked with achieving 225MW of demand response capacity for utility Ameren.

The deal has been reached through Illinois Power Agency’s capacity procurement programme which was started in 2007.

This is the second time in a row Voltus will participate under the capacity procurement process.

Gregg Dixon, CEO of Voltus, said: “Our commercial and industrial demand response network in Illinois continues to deliver tremendous savings to customers, significantly reducing capacity prices that often amount to 30% of a customer’s annual energy bill.

“What we find most interesting is that this IPA procurement secured capacity at 10% of the cost of the well-known subsidies to two uneconomic nuclear plants that formed the basis for SB2814, the energy bill passed by the Illinois legislature in late 2016 that propped up these plants.

The demand response programme falls under efforts by the state to reduce carbon emissions, ensure reliability of grid network, expand the clean energy portfolio and ensure consumers are provided with affordable energy.

According to a study conducted by Navigant Consulting, to date Illinois ratepayers enjoy a 250% return on the dollars invested in demand response versus a traditional mix of supply.

Illinois leads the nation in demand response capacity.

Dana Guernsey, vice president of market and business operations, added: “The IPA procurement is a strong hedge against future capacity price increases in the MISO footprint. MISO’s vertical demand curve is the proverbial sword of Damocles that will fall as outdated central power plants continue to retire and power demand rises.

“The capacity price shocks that characterised the MISO Planning Resource Auction in 2015 and 2016 are likely to return if this market flaw isn’t addressed at the federal or state level.”