Kentucky utilities extend OATI demand response contract

In the US, East Kentucky Power Cooperative last week said it has awarded smart grid company Open Access Technology International with a demand response management deal.

Under the terms of the agreement, Open Access Technology International (OATI) will provide East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) with phase two of its WebDistribute demand response management system (DRMS).

The solution will allow EKPC to centrally assess member utilities’ deployed demand response resources, and dispatch all the load control assets.

EKPC’s 16 member utilities operating in Kentucky counties have a total customer base of 520,000 residential, commercial and industrial consumers.

OATI claims the solution will modernize EKPC’s process of managing, dispatching, measuring, and verifying utilities’ load management programs in full compliance with PJM’s Market structure and Emergency Operations Plans.

OATI wrote: The development will enable “EKPC to maximize the economic value of these important assets for their member cooperatives.”

The deal followed successful implementation of phase 1 of the demand response management project in mid-2015.

Phase two kick-started with integration of the OATI webDistribute solution with different advanced metering infrastructure systems deployed by EKPC utilities.

WebDistribute was integrated with Landys & Gyr, Aclara, Tantalus, and Eaton Cannon Cooper’s AMI solutions.

OATI and US demand response management

OATI’s selection to provide phase two of its WebDistribute DRMS marks the company’s continued efforts in leveraging US utilities’ demand response management systems.

In mid-January 2016, power utility Great River Energy signed OATI to supply its DRMS.

Minnesota-based Great River Energy told local media that it plans to use OATI’s webDistribute DRMS solution to centrally operate its suite of commercial and industrial load management programmes including its 28 member cooperatives’ businesses.

The cooperative utility said it will start by deploying the solution in a pilot to determine how webDistribute’s Conservation Voltage Reduction feature complies with its members’ grids, reported

The OATI solution will be provided as a software-as-a-service, hosted from the OATI Private Cloud featuring the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) critical infrastructure protection compliant data centers.

WebDistribute will also provide functionality needed to automatically gather the data required for NERC’s Demand Response Availability Data System reporting on an ongoing basis.

Great River Energy is a non-profit electric cooperative generating and transmitting electricity to some 1.7m people in Minnesota region.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.