September 2019 


The Future of Distributed Energy Resources

Future of DR

Where do today's load management activities (including demand response, energy efficiency, and renewable energy programs) fit in a distributed energy resource (DER) future of non-wires alternatives, storage and more? Discover key takeaways from a recent PLMA publication that detailed 8 industry initiatives where leading utilities are partnering with allies to demonstrate the path to a more integrated approach to DERs. Gain insight from case studies that showcase:

  • Planning/Foundational Issues where utilities are taking bold steps to leapfrog pilots/technology straight to integrative planning and procuring, and change management;
  • “DR Plus” case studies where customer-sited assets (with or without involvement of an aggregator) are used to monetize DER operations for utility/grid benefits to a growing spectrum of network problems;
  • Microgrid examples where customer-sited assets that have great degrees of flexibility and opportunity for monetization; and
  • International case studies of first movers in DER.

Source: Presentation by Brian Doyle, Xcel Energy and Jenny Roehm, Schneider Electric given on Oct. 16, 2019 at 2019 National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource, Minneapolis, Minn.
Type: Presentation

Viking Cold Solutions for Using Thermal Energy Storage as a Grid Asset


Commercial & industrial freezers (10,000 to 200,000+ square feet) in the food and beverage, foodservice, grocery, and cold storage industries require massive amounts of electricity to keep frozen food product temperatures stable between 0 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit. These facilities maintain the highest demand per cubic foot of any industrial category and globally spend over $40 billion on energy every year.

Viking Cold Solutions uses thermal energy storage systems (TES) to utilize frozen food facilities in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Australia as grid assets that enable operators to shed 300-500 kW for up to 13 hours each day. TES systems leverage the facility’s existing refrigeration system to store energy in the form of cold and discharge that energy over long periods of time when it is most economical for the grid and the facility operator. These systems have no mechanical components and use phase change material, to absorb up to 85% of the heat infiltration while refrigeration is cycled off, and intelligent controls to balance temperature requirements and energy use. With a levelized cost of energy of less than 2¢ per kWh, many power providers have added TES technology into their efficiency and demand management programs to improve efficiency an average of 26%, help address the variability of renewables, and unlock large-scale demand management opportunities for a fraction of the cost of other storage mediums.

Source: PLMA Interest Group Dialogue featuring Collin Coker, Viking Cold Solutions; and Michael Smith, National Grid
Type: Webinar

Efficiency Vermont, Green Mountain Power, and Dynamic Organics for Flexible Load Management

Efficiency Vermont

This project demonstrated the importance of partnerships for successful peak load management to benefit Vermonters, reducing carbon and the overall cost of the energy delivery system. Efficiency Vermont had a long-term customer relationship with Brattleboro Retreat, a healthcare facility in Southern Vermont. The project renewed utilization and controls optimization for a 1990s legacy, 3.2 MWh chiller and ice storage system.

Green Mountain Power, the local utility committed to fighting climate change, developed a strategy to share grid benefit and savings with customers from shifting load off peak. Dynamic Organics developed a custom controller and dashboard incorporating weather, electric grid demand and pricing, and HVAC system data simultaneously to allow remote control and automated operation of the ice storage system. A trial of the system during an early summer peak event was successful, and that led to development of an innovative pilot (currently enrolling 10 more customers with diverse flexible assets) to demonstrate grid and customer value. The goal is to then make this a permanent rate option for commercial customers who have flexible load.

Source: PLMA Interest Group Dialogue featuring Marcus Jones, Efficiency Vermont; Morgan Casella, Dynamic Organics; and Laurie Duhan, BGE
Type: Webinar