Thursday, September 6, 2012
Over the past few weeks, Southern California was hit with a combination of factors that could have easily caused blackouts, but didn’t, thanks in part to automated demand response tools like LOBOS.
The first contributing factor happened way back in January when the San Onofre nuclear power plant was shut down, removing 2,150-megawatts of generating capacity from the grid. The second contributing factor was a powerful heat wave that has Californians’ air conditioning units working harder — and using more electricity — than normal.
The heat wave set 2012 records for electricity demand in California, while the unexpected loss of San Onofre’s capacity reduced the state’s overall ability to meet those demands.
So then, it’s no surprise that California’s grid operator issued several flex alerts during the heat waves. Flex alerts ask businesses and residential customers to reduce their energy consumption during times of peak demand. And thanks to cooperation by customers and tools like LOBOS, the flex alerts were a success.
In fact, Southern California Edison customers alone helped contribute nearly 300 megawatts to the grid during peak usage hours. As peak energy usage continues to increase, fully automated demand response and energy efficiency will become increasingly important.
In order to help support the adoption of fully automated demand response tools like LOBOS, Southern California Edison currently has incentives in place that will cover 100% of the costs of installing a LOBOS demand response system in qualifying buildings. Once a system is installed, building owners can also benefit from significant financial incentives for participating in demand response events.
At Enerliance, we’re thrilled to be a part of the smart grid’s future, both in California and around the world. If you’re interested in participating in SCE’s incentive program, let us know.