The Riverside Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California secured a grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop smart grid technology.The $1.2 million energy technology grant is part of the CEC’s motives to ensure grid reliability and at the same time lowering the state's carbon emissions.
In a press statement, the CEC said it plans to use the Integrated Distributed Energy Resources Management System (IDERMs) technology to be developed, to increase the state's renewable energy portfolio.
The iDERMs is believed to allow real time monitoring and management of distributed energy resources.
[quote] The state is aiming to integrate 20GW of renewable energy onto the grid by 2020 and lower its carbon emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.
The three year grant will be used to develop the technology to provide a two-way communication between customers and utilities to ensure reduced power outages and that consumers are supplied with real time insights of their grid and power consumption data.
Nanpeng Yu, an assistant professor of engineering and computer engineering at the college, will lead the project.
The college will develop the technology in partnership with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Nanpeng Yu commented: “Our scheme will allow customers to communicate their electricity consumption preferences to the distribution system and market operators, and participate in the distribution and wholesale market dispatch and price formation process,
“More efficient energy generation and consumption will mean cost savings for consumers, fewer outages, improved safety, and environmental benefits from the increased incorporation of renewable energy sources like wind and solar,” reiterated Yu.
Energy management in California
The grant falls under various measures implemented in California to ensure grid reliability and security.
In early July, the California Public Utilities Commission approved Southern California Edison’s (SCE) plans to add $8.7 million to fund its demand response (DR) projects. [California Energy Commission selects EV Connection’s charging tech]
The approval allowed the utility to deploy the projects in 2016 and 2017 to help its consumers in the Los Angeles area to reduce their power consumption to ensure grid reliability.
The development is one of the state’s measures to avoid power outages following the closure of the Aliso Canyon gas plant as a result of a leakage.
The Aliso Canyon provided gas-to-power plants supplying up to 70% of energy used by 11 million consumers in Los Angeles.
The approval of the budget allows SCE to spend $2.8 million to deliver its 2016 DR programme Summer Discount Plan.
The power utility is aiming to register 1 million participants in the project which involves the disconnection of consumer’s HVAC systems from the grid during peak events. [California utilities partner to drive energy conservation].
In 2017, the power utility plans to use $3.2 million to have more than 1.6 million consumers enroll in its Summer Discount Plan.
In addition, SCE will be awarded $1.65 million to provide $75 rebates to its 28,000 customers who will enroll in the Direct Load Control (DLC) programme.