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Copper Labs Partners with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), to Advance Community Energy Resiliency


Posted March 10, 2023

DENVER – March 7, 2023 – Copper Labs, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is participating in a $3 million grant from the DOE for their combined work on the Solar-Assisted, Stakeholder-Engaged, Autonomous Restoration with Data Orchestration Program (Solar-HERO). This grant is awarded through the Renewable Advancing Community Energy Resilience (RACER) Funding Program, a $33 million funding program which supports energy resilience projects designed to foster engagement and communication among stakeholders, such as utilities, emergency responders and community groups, especially in underserved areas vulnerable to energy service disruptions.

The Solar-HERO project is focused on automation strategies for rapid energy restoration, and NREL has partnered with Copper Labs to develop an estimation tool that coordinates datasets to enable real-time visibility of a grid. With that data, research teams will identify gaps in information and the needs of community members prior to building a community visibility and controllability upgrade plan that enables automated restoration during power outages. Additionally, this team will develop a virtual emergency operations center allowing interaction and coordination between the different stakeholders to complete rapid and equitable power restoration.

"Real-time meter data is an essential part of any energy service disruption response strategy," said Dan Forman, CEO of Copper Labs. "With Copper Labs' technology, we're supporting the Solar-HERO project with better data from existing meters without requiring hardware retrofits. We are especially proud to bring our technology to a project focused on underserved communities that have previously been vulnerable to system interruptions."

Solutions to the project require real-time field data orchestration, which is possible through Copper Labs' technology. Copper's unique, patented hardware can be installed in central locations to remotely access data from hundreds of individual meters at once, providing utilities and their customers with their own real-time usage data. The information gathered from Copper's devices will enable rapid data sharing of grid status, saving crucial time during extreme power outages or energy loss events. Now, emergency crews, utility operations and community members can assess the situation and have a rapid system restoration plan in place.

CLICK HERE to read the full press release.


Virtual Peaker Integrates with A. O. Smith Smart Water Heaters to Provide More Flexible, Less Expensive DERMS ProgramsVirtual Peaker

Five Water Heater Brands Were Added with One Integration

Posted March 10, 2023

March 8, 2023; Louisville, KY and Littleton, CO Virtual Peaker, a cloud-based SaaS company that empowers modern utilities with the friendliest distributed energy platform on the planet, and A. O. Smith, a global leader in water heating solutions, have integrated their technologies to create seamless online connections using the Gravity Connect API and A. O. Smith’s fleet of high-efficiency water heaters.

The partnership makes it easy for utilities to integrate new devices as they are rolled out, skipping the laborious manual onboarding process. Eligible residential customers with A. O. Smith devices now can easily enroll in DERMS programs, taking advantage of Virtual Peaker’s Shift DERMS suite that applies machine learning and real-time controls to internet-enabled water heaters, as well as Virtual Peaker’s Relay suite with seamless customer engagement features.

A. O. Smith’s Voltex® Hybrid Electric Heat Pumps reduce water heating costs by up to 78% through an innovative design that pulls environmental heat while dehumidifying and cooling the ambient air. The company’s hot water heat pumps, which adhere to the ANSI/CTA-2045 standard, that are part of this integration are the state-of-the-art HPTS-50, HPTS-66, and HPTS-80, along with the HPTU-50N, HPTU-66N, and HPTU-80N models. A. O. Smith’s participating water heater brands include American, Reliance, U.S. Craftmaster Water Heaters, Lochinvar, and State Water Heaters.

Virtual Peaker and A. O. Smith have been collaborating since early 2022 on PG&E’s WatterSaver program, which is expected to be the largest of its kind in the United States, connecting with and optimizing 5,000-9,000 eligible residential customers. The goal of the behind-the-scenes thermal storage program is to provide up to 2.5 megawatts of peak-load reduction by the end of 2025.

“We’re excited to build on our already strong working relationship with A. O. Smith, now helping more residents easily enroll in their utility’s DERMS programs,” said Eric Van Orden, director of partnerships at Virtual Peaker. “Customers will have greater access to residential demand response programs that reduce cost and peak load.”

“Virtual Peaker’s open-spec API works seamlessly with A. O. Smith’s demand response API making it easier and more efficient to connect smart heat pump and electric water heater devices,” said Ralph Perez, senior product manager for A. O. Smith. “Their Shift DERMS flexible demand response capabilities help optimize residential energy use by leveraging less-expensive off-peak renewable power sources.”

To learn more about this integration, visit  

CLICK HERE to read the full press release.


This Startup Turns Electric Water Heaters into Grid Batteries

Shifted Energy

Shifted Energy is tapping water heaters in lower-income communities to create virtual power plants that help balance the grid, starting in Hawaii.

Posted March 7, 2023

Forest Frizzell, CEO of Shifted Energy, wants to make sure that the rewards from helping his home state of Hawaii move to 100 percent carbon-free electricity don’t just belong to the lucky few who can afford rooftop solar systems and home batteries.

That’s why his startup has built one of the country’s most advanced virtual power plants on a ubiquitous piece of Hawaiian household technology — electric water heaters.

As of last year, Shifted Energy had equipped more than 3,000 households in multifamily condos and apartment buildings on the islands of Oahu and Maui with its cellular-connected smart-water-heater control modules. Those families earn about $3 a month in utility bill credits for allowing Shifted Energy to turn those water heaters on and off to help balance the grid during sudden shifts in wind and solar power supply. This virtual power plant (VPP) offers the utility a collective capacity of up to 2.5 megawatts of fast-responding grid support.

Shifted Energy’s algorithms predict down to the kilowatt-hour just how much electricity each family needs to provide hot water at different hours of the day, giving utility Hawaiian Electric a resource that’s as reliable as a power plant in terms of flexibility and control. And, unlike a power plant, Shifted Energy can also remotely program water heaters to absorb excess solar power when more is being generated than the grid can handle.

The VPP is part of Hawaiian Electric’s Power Partnerships Program, a groundbreaking approach to enlisting customers to help balance island grids that are mandated by state law to run completely on renewable energy by 2045. Other VPPs from solar-plus-battery aggregators Swell and Sunrun are also participating in this program, but Shifted Energy’s water-heater fleet has been providing its second-by-second capabilities at full capacity for more than a year as those solar-battery projects have just been getting up to speed.

We’re more than a water-heater company,” Frizzell emphasized. The same algorithms that Shifted Energy has applied to electric water heaters can be applied to home batteries, electric-vehicle chargers and other household appliances.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.


NV Energy to Release DER Potential & Forecasting RFP - Expression of Interest

NV Energy

Posted February 28, 2023

NV Energy will shortly release an RFP to procure services and software for distributed energy resources (DER) forecasting and valuation tools.  The software toolset should support DER forecasting for 20 years using a bottom up approach, i.e. from customer up through system level.  In lieu of a separate traditional and periodic energy efficiency market potential study, NV Energy would like the service provider(s) to use the software toolset to determining the technical, economic, and achievable potential for demand response, distributed generation, behind-the-meter storage, and electric vehicles.  This  includes determining the potential for integrated DER program approaches and special breakout scenario analysis for achievable program potential for enhanced approaches for low-income customers and historically underserved communities. In addition to the DER market potential study and licenses to the software, models, and analytical toolsets, NV Energy seeks associated configuration and training services for its Integrated Grid Planning (IGP) group so that IGP can generate quarterly and annual updates to DER forecasts along with updates to DER program and non-wires solutions cost-benefit analyses.

Service providers and vendors that are interested in this receiving this RFP—or interested in teaming arrangements—may notify NV Energy by submitting an expression of interest and capability via this link.


Duke Energy Job Opportunity: Demand Response Analyst II or Senior Demand Response Analyst

Duke Energy

Posted February 24, 2023

Position Summary

Position supports key initiatives related to demand response measurement & verification, regulatory compliance and operational support, and complex modeling demand response programs for portfolio planning and regulatory reporting purposes. Responsibilities include: the creation of analytics for product development and regulatory filing requirements emphasizing demand response (DR), load management (LM) and Direct Load Control (DLC); economic dispatch of DR, LM, and DLC programs; regulatory support of DR, LM, and DLC programs; provide project management and technical expertise on special projects requested of the Analytics department. Individuals in this role monitor compliance with program rules for markets organized under regional transmission organizations.


Support Demand Response / Load Management / Direct Load Control strategy and programs

  • Evaluate the value of demand response programs, using SAS or another programming language to analyze meter data.
  • Ensure Midwest Demand Response compliance with applicable FERC, MISO, PJM and NERC filing requirements.
  • Perform analysis to help draft testimony on policy positions as well as analytical results as required relative to demand response programs.
  • Track and evaluate federal, state, and local policies related to demand response programs.
  • Support development of location based demand response, load management, and direct load control.
  • Communicate with large customers as needed.

Support other areas of the company with advanced technical expertise (e.g. Strategic Planning, Asset Planning, Products & Services, Rates).

  • Work with internal customers such as the trading floor, RTO compliance and FERC attorneys to provide analytical support for demand response program design and implementation
  • Provide expertise to project teams and other areas within the company.
  • Pro-actively seek opportunities to support internal and external customers

 Required/Basic Qualifications

Note: This posting is for one open position. Dependent on relative experience, the level to which a candidate is aligned is outlined below.

Demand Response Analyst II (Demand Response Management & Retail Programs Analyst II)

  • Bachelors degree
  • In addition to required degree, one (1) year minimum of related work experience
  • In lieu of bachelors degree AND one year minimum of related work experience listed above, high school/GED AND five (5) years minimum related work experience

Senior Demand Response Analyst (Senior Demand Response Management & Retail Programs Analyst)

  • Bachelors degree in Engineering, Market Research, Finance, Statistics, Business or Economics
  • In addition to required degree, three (3) years minimum of related work experience
  • In lieu of bachelors degree AND 3 years minimum of related work experience listed above, high school/GED AND seven (7) years minimum related work experience

CLICK HERE to read the full press release.

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