Demand response pilot: US electricity supplier tests AutoGrid solution

Bonneville Power Authority tests demand response system
Bonneville Power Administration said it took six months to integrate the demand response system into its commercial demonstration project

In the US, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), an agency of the Department of Energy responsible for delivering power across the Pacific Northwest, is using big data management company AutoGrid’s demand response optimisation & management system (DROMS) to schedule and signal demand response events.

BPA announced last week that since it started a demonstration project in February, the utility has used the DROMS system to execute more than 20 events in the range of 18 to 28 megawatts, and, in total, has shed more than 500 megawatt-hours, according to ‘Inside Big Data’ trade magazine.

As part of the demonstration project, BPA is assessing AutoGrid’s DROMS applicability as a centralized operational dashboard to design, manage and operationalize multiple DR efforts.

BPA, a wholesale supplier of electricity to 142 utilities and 490 transmission customers, is also determining if the system can indicate the amount of load that it is available to be shed through any of its DR programs.

Load shedding in real time

Monitoring demand response events in real-time and viewing load shed on a minute-by-minute basis to respond to changes in supply from renewable energy sources are also requirements of the project, BPA told ‘Inside Big Data’.

In one of BPA’s demonstrations, demand response events were scheduled and required to perform load shed in 10 minutes or less.

As part of the project, BPA authorized aggregators to find public and private demand response resources available at municipal utilities, cooperatives and other private, commercial and industrial loads across its service territory.

Commenting on the application of the demand response system, Dr Amit Narayan, CEO of AutoGrid, said: “BPA has used DROMS to successfully implement an open standards-based dispatch grade demand response system.

“By providing them with a dynamic, real-time portrait of their demand response programs and event performance, DROMS is helping BPA demonstrate how it can use demand response to enhance grid reliability and lower costs.”

The US utility integrated the system into its commercial demand response demonstration project within six months.

Commercial and industrial electricity customers, as well as owners of battery-based energy storage systems, are participating in the demand response demonstration.

BPA communicates demand response events to demonstration participants using a variety of methods, including electronic signals using OpenADR 2.0b protocol.