Maryland Electric Coop (SMECO) extends demand response contract


Following a 10-year contract, Itron will continue to provide SMECO with a fully outsourced and pay-for-performance demand response solution that helps the cooperative ensure reliable power and lower rates for its members.

SMECO’s CoolSentry demand response programme, for which more than 45,000 control devices have been deployed, has been in operation for the past nine years, for small commercial and residential customers.

Enrolling 16MW of large commercial and industrial load for a total of 60MW of available capacity, SMECO is able to reduce its exposure to generation and transmission capacity charges in the wholesale market.

As a fully outsourced solution, customers are recruited into the programme by Itron, which then installs the necessary load control equipment and operates the programme using IntelliSOURCE Enterprise cloud-based software.

Itron operates the programme as a virtual power plant for the utility, increasing reliability and lowering costs to SMECO’s customers.

This is a cost-effective load management solution for SMECO particularly as it operates under a pay-for-performance model.“We are looking forward to seeing the continued success of [the] demand response solution, which provides a cost-effective resource for grid reliability,” said Jeff Shaw, SMECO’s vice president of distributed energy and sustainability.

“SMECO’s CoolSentry programme saves us a substantial amount of money and we pass those savings on to our customers. In the past nine years, Itron’s engagement efforts have driven a 50% participation rate in the programme for eligible residential customers, making it one of the highest percentages of participation for an opt-in demand response programme in the United States.”

“This collaboration is an example of the type of outcomes-based contract that is a win-win for utilities and their customers,” said Steve Hambric, Itron’s vice president of distributed energy management.