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BPA currently has residential demand response pilot projects in progress with six utilities in four regions
​Northern Idaho

Kootenai Electric Cooperative​

Working with the BPA, Kootenai Electric Cooperative (KEC), implemented a demand response program called The Peak Project. BPA and the utility provided homeowners with a programmable thermostat and water heater controls to curtail home heating/cooling and water heater use at specific times of peak demand.

Goals and objectives:
  • Leverage existing AMI infrastructure to shift morning demand during 7-10a, in winter and during 2-5p during summery
  • Test end customer interest, acceptance and participation
  • Develop reusable program marketing materials ("The Peak Project")
The pilot project with Kootenai Electric was recently completed. A summary can be found here.
Central Oregon

Central Electric Coopoerative

Now completed, the Central Electric Cooperative (CEC) program includes controls that turn off water heaters from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. PT daily, seven days a week. In both pilots, homeowners could override the curtailment at any time.

Goals and objectives:
  • Demonstrate the ability to shift 4 hours of morning demand
  • Test affordable solution not dependent upon AMI infrastructure, curtailment occurs everyday for a specific period of time. Not utility dispatchable.
​Western Oregon

Emerald People's Utility District

Emerald People's Utility District (EPUD) is installing hot water heater control devices and programmable thermostat devices using a Cooper AMI system.

Goals and objectives:
  • Demonstrate technical capabilities of the existing EPUD AMI communication infrastructure to work with various new load control devices
  • Identify all economic barriers to full program deployment
  • Develop a cost-effectiveness model to assess the total resource cost of a range of potential costs and benefits
  • Develop an understanding of EPUD customer attitudes towards DR technology and practices
    Gather robust load profile data for targeted control loads to evaluate how control devices respond to utility control
  • EPUD will engage the region with any possible opportunity to share experience, improve data collection and reliability and leverage overall customer support
Northwest Washington
City of Port Angeles
 
City of Port Angeles (COPA) will purchase and install demand response equipment, to include residential water heating DR controls, in-home displays with controllable home area network capabilities and thermal storage devices for home heating.
 
Goals and objectives:
  • Reduce the City's NCP demand above its assigned contract demand quantity (CDQ)
  • Reduce wholesale power supply costs for the City's residential customers
  • Minimize the perceived impact (e.g., inconvenience, discomfort) to the City's residential customers (e.g., water heating and space comfort)
  • Maximize the City's residential customers' acceptance of DR
  • Delay or eliminate regional transmission system upgrades
Mason County PUD No. 3
 
The Mason County PUD No. 3 (PUD3) pilot is now completed. The utility equipped homes with either an internet or cellular network configured for a renewable demand response signal delivery to their water heater. Each home will receive communication hardware enabling the delivery of load-control information to enhanced hot water heater control systems to preferentially store renewable energy (wind) via a DR protocol that essentially tracks the intermittent renewable supply, or wind generation curve. A 10 kW Demand Energy Networks (DEN) Demand Shifter unit with a nominal storage of 40 kWH is also included as part of this project. This three phase unit is located at the Mason County PUD #3 Operations Center and complements renewable generation sources through flexible system scheduling overrides that allow the system to optimize intermittent resources.
 
Goals and objectives:
  • Demonstrate an automated DR system to selectively manage demand in direct correlation with the availability of intermittent renewable resources
  • Identify the optimal control and shedding strategies that can be automated for seasonal intermittent renewable events, power outages, and control system peaking events
  • Evaluate the economic and socio-economic factors that influence customer participation that will dictate wide-scale future DR deployment
Orcas Power & Light Cooperative
 
Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (OPALCO) This pilot has completed installations and is in the process of running demand response events. OPALCO installed residential water heater DR controls in 410 homes on Orcas and San Juan Island.
 
Goals and objectives:
  • Review the ability to shift OPALCO peak demand to the afternoon valley
  • Test the duration of demand response that can be achieved without disrupting member's comfort
  • Determine if saturating a phase of a specific circuit will allow more efficient power management
  • Test whether providing real time information about electrical usage changes member's behavior
Test Pilots: Additional Electric Thermal Storage devices
City of Port Angeles (COPA) and Emerald PUD (EPUD)
 
Steffes Equipment Pilot - BPA is partnering with each utility to purchase and install Energy Thermal Storage (ETS) units that can store underutilized renewable or off peak electric energy for space and water heating. ETS systems store electric energy as heat in a well insulated brick core. Built-in microprocessor-based control systems regulate the charging level and rate. Storage occurs as utilities signal the unit to charge with available renewable or off-peak energy, or in response to other needs of the grid, or when signaled based on built in time clocks, input from residential thermostats, or consumer control. Steffes equipment has the ability to take on "extra" storage during periods when excess energy is available (e.g., when the wind fleet ramps up rapidly) or to turn off when the power supply is limited (e.g., when the wind fleet connected to the BPA grid is suddenly becalmed).

Goals and objectives:
  • Steffes ETS units can provide this "battery-like" storage of electric energy at a small fraction (10% to 50%) of the cost of batteries, compressed air energy storage, flywheels, pumped storage hydro, single cycle peaking combustion turbines, and superconducting magnetic storage. BPA would like to test the possibility of getting value out of ETS technology for wind power reserves, balancing wind power interconnected to the BPA transmission system, and for other Federal power system purposes (e.g., transmission congestion relief).