As another hot Texas summer approaches, CPS Energy is looking to relieve pressure on the Texas electrical grid through an expansion of its automated demand response program.
Through a partnership with Honeywell, CPS Energy is launching the largest automated demand response program (ADR) by a municipal utility in the country. Demand response is a load curtailment program initiated by utilities like CPS Energy to reduce high energy demand during extreme temperatures. Commercial customers voluntarily participate in the program and receive incentives based on their electrical load reduction.
CPS Energy and Honeywell are looking to expand a successful pilot project for commercial and industrial customers completed last year. As part of that project, nine facilities helped trim local energy demand by 1.5 megawatts. Over the next two years, the ADR program will look to enroll as many as 60 additional sites. If successful, the expanded program could save roughly 6 megawatts of electricity – enough to meet the demand of 2,600 average homes.
As part of the program, CPS Energy will work with Honeywell to identify and enroll prospective customers and facilities. Each facility will be audited to identify opportunities for load reduction, and a plan will be customized and implemented for that facility that trims energy use without impacting the company’s core business functions.
“Our ADR program is a win for both sides. It helps us save energy for the electrical grid, but also helps local companies reduce their energy use and ultimately save on their bottomline,” says David Jungman, CPS Energy’s Vice President of Corporate Development and Planning. “We think ADR is another valuable tool to conserve energy and ensure the reliability of the state grid.”
Through the ADR program, CPS Energy uses Honeywell software to send signals to participating sites during called conservation events. The system triggers short-term, electric load-shedding measures that have been specifically designed for those sites and approved by those companies as part of their participation.
“Customers save energy during conservation events through adjusting chill water temperatures, cutting back lighting and reducing pump speeds.” says Jungman. “But the best part is that during a conservation event, the customer remains 100 percent in control of their equipment.”
Demand response programs are an integral part of CPS Energy’s Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP) – a strategy to save 771 megawatts by the year 2020. STEP initiatives such as residential and commercial rebates and demand response programs focus on saving the energy that would have to be produced through the building of another power plant. In 2013, CPS Energy saved 130 MW during peak times through demand response programs.