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Port Angeles, BPA launch new era of demand response
2/11/2014 12:00 AM
Nippon Paper Industries is a major utility customer of Port Angeles, Wash., and a major employer in the region.
A new era in demand response in the Pacific Northwest is under way.
Nippon Paper Industries USA in Port Angeles, Wash., is now in the seven-month testing phase of the demand response demonstration project. Demand response programs provide financial incentives for complying with occasional requests to decrease energy use, which can help to balance the regional electrical grid at times when the demand for energy exceeds the supply. This is the first incentive contract for the Bonneville Power Administration’s Demand Response Program.
“We were impressed by the complexity of the agreement, the cross-agency effort and the dedication of BPA staff to make it happen,” said Bob Kajfasz, commercial energy analyst for Port Angeles.
It’s a partnership worth noting.
“Port Angeles has really stepped up to help the region solve important energy issues, such as integrating clean, renewable wind power,” said BPA Smart Grid Manager Lee Hall.
Demand response is a tool with potential. Once its operational feasibility is thoroughly tested, it could be used to ensure grid reliability by assisting in balancing reserves. Balancing reserves ensure that the amount of energy being consumed matches what is being produced, which helps operators manage transmission and generation systems by easing congestion. Balancing tools are in high demand as the amount of variable renewable energy increases.
Nippon Paper’s mill makes for a great participant in demand response because of its industrial design. Once the wood is turned into pulp, it’s stored before it’s made into paper. With a 10-minute notice given by BPA operators, the mill voluntarily decreases energy consumption of up to 30 megawatts as appropriate.
The objectives of the testing phase are: to demonstrate the ability of demand response loads to serve as a reliable tool for addressing system needs in response to a commercial incentive; and to determine what commercial arrangements are needed to encourage utilities and their customers to participate in future demand response programs in the region.
Port Angeles is a cost-share partner of the BPA Technology Innovation portfolio project, helping to pave the way to a future program.
“We are continually looking at opportunities within our distribution system for technologies we can use for demand response, such as voltage optimization or pumping loads at the city’s water and wastewater treatment facilities,” said Kajfasz.
Meanwhile, BPA continues to explore demand response technologies that could change how the Northwest power system is operated.
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