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10th Annual PLMA Awards
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10th Annual PLMA Awards Program Recognizes
Leading Demand Response Programs and Practices

Austin, Texas – April 25, 2013 – The Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA) today announced four demand response programs that are winners of the 10th Annual PLMA Awards. The Awards were presented at the PLMA Awards Luncheon during the PLMA Spring Conference in Austin, Texas. The winning programs recognized are (in alphabetical order):

  • Bonneville Power Administration for Innovative Application of Demand Response Award
  • Dakota Electric Association for Outstanding Program Participation Award
  • Nashville Electric Service for Outstanding Collaboration Award
  • PECO for Outstanding Program Achievement Award

The PLMA Award Program recognizes those energy industry leaders that create innovative methods to meet peak load needs, mitigate price risks, and manage variable generation. Demand response has grown from simply reducing peak loads to balancing supply and demand for increased efficiency and reliability of a smarter grid. Demand response and other methods to balancing intermittent power loads are becoming even more important as renewable energy becomes a larger part of electricity supply.

"2012 proved to be yet another year of innovation, creativity, and success for numerous demand response programs being operated throughout the country,” remarked Paul Tyno, Board Chair of PLMA. "These awards are a way for PLMA to recognize and highlight the best programs.” The following are brief program descriptions with award justification: 

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) conducted two pilot projects to draw upon demand response (DR) capacity from commercial and industrial sites to balance both increases and decreases in supply from renewable resources, as well as traditional generation. One pilot tested the ability of a paper mill to provide up to 40 MW of bi-directional capability by controlling pulp refining. The program also tested a number of other businesses, including lumber yard, hospital, wastewater, and government office loads for a total of 8 sites and another 900 kW of load impact. BPA also worked closely with customer utilities and five refrigerated warehouse sites throughout the Pacific Northwest as part of the Smart End-Use Energy Storage and Integration of Renewable Energy Pilot. These sites were enabled for automated DR functionality and thus were able to provide more than 1,300 kW of load reduction and more than 800 kW of load increase, as directed through BPA’s demand response automation server, within 10 minutes of notification. The BPA program serves as an innovative model for how demand response can be used to help manage the intermittency of the Northwest’s growing renewable energy resources. 

Dakota Electric Association’s EnergyWise® has reduced the utility’s system peak demand by more than 20% when wholesale market prices are at their highest. Over $18 million in savings in 2012 were passed on to 47% of all members through billing credits or lower off-peak rates. Members who participate in an off-peak program allow Dakota Electric to temporarily interrupt power to connected loads or start standby generators. The end-uses include electric water heaters, electric space heaters, central air conditioners, pool pumps and hot tubs, farm irrigation systems, electric vehicles, and even whole buildings. This award recognizes Dakota Electric’s program success and ability to achieve a significant amount of customer participation and load reduction.

PECO developed an innovative approach to dealing with a challenging regulatory requirement to reduce its load by 4.5% during the top 100 hours of system load between June 1 and September 30, 2012. The company developed a Demand Response Management System to assess high probability load hours, to predict how much DR to dispatch, and what portions of the DR portfolio to call during high probability hours. In the summer of 2012, all of PECO’s top 100 hours of system load occurred over an eight week period, with 10 hours falling on Saturdays which rendered them non-callable DR hours. In spite of this challenge, and due in large part to the construction of a diverse DR portfolio consisting of traditional dispatchable DR, Conservation Voltage Reduction, and resultant DR from energy efficiency PECO was able to achieve the 4.5% load reduction target (355 MW). Prior to the summer of 2012, PECO’s greatest DR performance was 179 MW for a total of 4 hours. PECO was able to solve a very complex implementation challenge with this successful program that is deserving of an award.

Nashville Electric Service (NES) along with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) participated in a joint collaboration utilizing 52 owned substations to respond to a TVA called peak demand management event or to manage/mitigate its own monthly peak demand. The successful implementation uses the Landis+Gyr Gridstream two-way radio-frequency communications platform throughout an advanced distribution communications network down to individual end points for monitoring and/or control. The program is a milestone in initiatives supporting NES and TVA to meet contracted load reduction of 40 MWs. NES contributed 49.2% of mitigated capacity short fall to the overall TVA 2012 Virtual Power Plant program, saving over $3.4 million in demand charges. NES and TVA were supported by MW Consulting in creating the novel strategy and applications being used to realize the program’s benefits. To make this program successful, NES collaborated not only with TVA but with a number of its customers in order to implement a form of demand response not often seen in the industry.

Nominations will be accepted from December 10, 2013 to February 28, 2014 from all industry professionals for the 11th Annual PLMA Awards.

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