Direct Energy invests in Siemens demand response programme


In the US, retail energy giant Direct Energy has signed a deal with Siemens Smart Grid for a demand response management system (DRMS) with the aim of managing load commitment to its commodity customers and allowing them to “reduce their energy costs”, said Hemant Jain, head of demand response for Direct Energy. 

Direct Energy, which currently runs demand response programmes in the US, will use the new Siemens integrated solution to expand its offering to independent system operators (ISOs) throughout North America.

The energy company, that serves more than six million residential and commercial customers, plans to use the DRMS for better integration ISOs, including PJM, ISO-New England, Electric Reliability Council of Texas and New York Independent System Operator, and to help ISOs more efficiently manage power demand requirements, especially during times of peak usage.

Forecasting energy demand

By automating Direct Energy’s demand response programmes, the company can use the information to better determine the amount of energy it needs to transact into the marketplace.

Forecasting and analytics tools optimise the market-based transactions with the ability to realise significant savings being utilised as a hedge against their supply-side contracts, or generate maximum revenues at times of high demand and increased supply prices.

This coordinating element of Siemens DRMS helps keep a balance between supply and demand while integrating with sub-metering devices located at each Direct Energy utility account and collect consumption data.

Craig Cavanaugh, director of Siemens Smart Grid Applications and Solutions, said: “Electric retail providers like Direct Energy can now integrate their demand response activities with a number of ISOs, using a single unified application to manage demand response assets for all customer classes including commercial, industrial, and the residential sector, for programs involving both economic and emergency dispatch.”

Energy bidding process

Siemens DRMS allows consumers to log in to a web portal and determine when, and at what cost, they will provide energy back to the grid. The system then consolidates that information and automates the execution of the bidding process between the ISOs. Once the ISO makes the appropriate determination of which bids to accept or reject, notifications are then sent back to the DRMS application and consumers are informed if their bid has been approved.

The integration of the DRMS will be supported by OMNETRIC Group.