How it Works
From a DR perspective, enabling agricultural irrigation systems to respond to demand-response events can take a variety of forms, from shutting off one or more water pumps at specific times or turning off certain water-delivery elements in response to events. Pumps and pivots can be completely shut down during times of peak demand without compromising customers’ comfort or safety, unlike some DR-enabled residential systems, which impact the customer experience directly. High rates of irrigation also coincide with summer’s high peak demand. Incentivizing farmers to shift their crop-watering schedule to a less congested time can significantly ease grid strain and free up capacity.
In addition to any financial incentives that may be associated with DR-program participation, choosing specific pumps to shut off at certain times can enable a more strategic irrigation approach. Some technologies enable farmers to set flexible schedules for their irrigation system—similar to a residential customer controlling home heating with a smart thermostat—which aligns well with DR-program participation and empowers a proactive approach to water and energy consumption.