Voorhees, NJ, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 8, 2011 – American Water has formed a partnership with ENBALA Power Networks, after having become the first U.S. water utility to use the company’s smart grid technology, which harnesses the flexibility of the utility’s demand side assets to deliver grid balance to the electric power system.
The pilot programs were undertaken at Pennsylvania American Water’s Shire Oaks pumping station. These included management of the power use of electrical equipment, including treatment plants and pumps, without impacting the process efficiency or operational costs.
“Since water and energy are so interconnected, finding ways to better manage these critical services benefits both industries and their customers,” said American Water president and CEO Jeff Sterba. “This technology essentially allows the power company to ‘talk’ with a water plant in real time. This communication leverages the flexibility of our treatment facilities’ energy usage so that we use more energy when demand is low and less energy when demand is high."
The demand side management program is the first product of American Water’s Innovation Development Process. Formed in August 2009, the initiative is aimed to leverage the company’s position and expertise as the nation’s largest water and wastewater services provider to develop innovations by performing idea validation tests and ultimately becoming an early adopter of new technologies for industry use.
In addition to using ENBALA’s technology at this inaugural facility, American Water plans to expand its use in other large treatment facilities throughout its footprint.