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FlexCharging: Why this Microsoft Vet Quit and Launched an EV Smart Charging HubFlexcharging


Posted November 7, 2022

In 2014, Brian Grunkemeyer was a Microsoft principal software engineer with a passion for fighting climate change. That year he bought a Tesla Model S and drove it from his home in Redmond, Wash. to San Jose, Calif.

“On a road trip like that, you have a lot of time to think deeply about EV charging,” Grunkemeyer said.

His realization? That if projections were correct, electric car charging was going to require a huge amount of power.

Grunkemeyer began working on a solution, creating a startup that launched in 2019 as FlexCharging. The company recently landed the initial close of its first venture round, bringing total funding to $6.2 million. Its lead investor is Accurant International.

The challenge that Grunkemeyer set out tackle is the fact that energy supply and demand fluctuate over time. Solar panels and wind turbines produce more power during daylight or windy conditions. Demand or “load” can spike if everyone gets home from work, for example, and plugs in their cars at the same time. If demand outpaces supply, utilities can fire up backup sources, often coal or gas-powered generators. In the long term, they might build new power plants to meet peak demand — or risk power outages.

The Fix

Brian Grunkemeyer, founder and CEO of FlexCharging. (FlexCharging Photo)

Grunkemeyer’s solution helps EV drivers charge when energy is more plentiful. Using data from utilities and a nonprofit called WattTime, the FlexCharging app automatically manages charging to coincide with times when demand is at its lowest and supply the greenest. Drivers enter information setting the window of time their vehicle will be plugged in and the minimum charge level that they need to reach.

The app is free to drivers. It currently works for vehicles from 19 automakers and more than 60 EV models.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

 

The Leader in Smart Electric Vehicle Charging Closes New FundingFlexcharging

FlexCharging, a leader in smart electric vehicle (EV) charging, gains momentum with a new partner and funding to help utilities manage the impact of EVs on the power grid.

Posted November 7, 2022

FlexCharging, Inc., the first company to do electric vehicle (EV) smart & managed charging with its over-the-air technology, has secured a new partner and Series A funding from Accurant International. This partnership will accelerate the roll-out of the technology to help utility companies manage the coming wave of electric vehicles so EVs don't cripple the electrical grid due to power shortages and force the utilities to continue their dependence and use of electricity generated from fossil fuels.

With FlexCharging, EV owners simply download the app, set their charging preferences, and plug in their car wherever they go. Then FlexCharging optimizes charging to ensure the car charges during periods when grid demand is lower, or optimize mass charging of cars on a particular utility substation and feeder not to overload utility equipment. This will result in a more predictable demand for utilities and reduce overloads and emergencies by shifting power demand and consequently reducing their reliance or deployment of peaking fossil fuel power plants. This enables utilities and customers to use electric vehicles as a grid resource instead of trying to manage the grid stability issues that large-scale EV adoption could cause the electrical system.

FlexCharging, an American company based in Seattle, Washington, founded by Brian Grunkemeyer, a technology expert with 21 years leading cloud compute engineering at Microsoft and an environmentalist at heart with 10 years of involvement with the Sierra Club, was the first to perform 'smart managed charging' through over-the-air technology in 2017. Brian has always focused on environmental impact and on establishing the best technology to solve core critical massive-scale problems.

CLICK HERE to read the full press release.

 

Natural Gas Demand Response Program Demonstrates 18% Savings Potential During a Blizzard

Copper Labs


Posted November 7, 2022

BOULDER, Colo. — Newly released data from demand response program proves real-time usage data significantly improves system reliability.

Copper Labs, a technology provider that unlocks real-time grid-edge data for gas, water and electric utilities, is sharing  results from a pilot program it conducted last winter with utility company National Grid that demonstrates the effectiveness of a natural gas demand response program incorporating near real-time data.

"Unlocking near real-time usage data for our gas consumers has created new opportunities to reduce peak demand when it matters most to our gas distribution system," said Jon Rei, director, Distributed Energy Resources at National Grid. "With Copper Labs' innovative technology, we have a new channel to engage targeted consumers with actionable insights that help them reduce energy costs."

Copper Labs' patented technology can help ratepayers and utilities by generating real-time energy usage data directly from existing automatic meter reading (AMR) gas meters without extensive infrastructure upgrades. As a strong "bomb cyclone" winter storm approached New York in January, National Grid observed increased customer loads and sent residents targeted messages on their smartphones. These messages encouraged them to modify their behavior to help support the gas system during a period of very high demand (e.g., by turning their heat down a few degrees or postponing a hot shower for a couple of hours). 

The result was an 18% reduction in natural gas usage during the peak demand window from customers who received the messages compared to those in the control group who did not. The gas savings allowed National Grid to manage demand and more-efficiently serve its customers while ensuring no system disruptions.

CLICK HERE to read the full press release.

CLICK HERE to read a case study.

 

Crow Wing Power Leverages Tantalus for EV Charging Program

Tantalus

Minnesota cooperative engages customers with dual-track charge plans

BURNABY, BC – October 25, 2022 –– Smart grid technology leader Tantalus Systems (TSX: GRID) today announced that Crow Wing Power is utilizing its TUNet® smart grid system to offer customers a choice of two electric vehicle (EV) charging options. The cooperative electric utility, based in Brainerd, Minnesota, replaced its aging meter network with a Tantalus TUNet smart grid platform for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and load management applications, paving the way to offer customers their choice of EV charging program.

Implementing TUNet AMI, Tantalus Load Management System, and Tantalus Load Champ, Crow Wing Power offers an attractive time-of-use rate and an even better off-peak rate that automatically shifts charging to overnight. This win-win lets Crow Wing Power manage load more effectively across their distribution system and gives members the ability to choose the option that works for their household. After one year, the participation is roughly 50/50 between the two rate programs—both of which offer a rebate to help defray the cost of equipment installation and work with all types of EVs and Level 2 chargers.

“We worked to offer EV program options for our members to meet their needs while ensuring the cooperative managed new EV load growing within our distribution system,” said Jeff Wohlert, Crow Wing Power’s Member Services Manager. “Our partnership with Tantalus and adoption of its load management solutions is allowing us to drive greater engagement with our current EV-driving customer base and prepare for a future where more and more electric vehicles can be incorporated into our grid.”

CLICK HERE to read the full press release.

 

CPS Energy RFP: Evaluation, Measurement and Verification Serices for Energy Savings ProgramsCPS


Posted October 18, 2022

CPS Energy is seeking a Company to provide Evaluation, Measurement and Verification Services for CPS Energy’s Energy Saving Programs

A Non-Mandatory Pre-Solicitation Meeting will be held for this bid opportunity on October 20, 2022 at 10:00am CST. This meeting is not mandatory; however, it is highly recommended that interested companies attend. 

Submittals are due no later than 11/17 at 12:00PM CST.

https://cpsenergy.diversitycompliance.com/

Please click “View more active bid opportunities” for more information.

 
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