Technology Merit: Smart Grid & Energy Management

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Leidos (formerly known as SAIC) for performing the system integration role an Intelligent Load Management system that can provide for cheaper integration of wind power and replace expensive supply-side generation options with demand response.

Leidos describes ILM as "a new concept in the domain of demand side management [that] is far beyond demand response. ILM can provide a firm, qualified resource that can be relied on by grid operators for 24/7/365 dispatching, with the ability to ramp up and down.

ILM uses commercial-off-the-shelf technologies to measure, aggregate and dispatch industrial, commercial and residential loads so that the aggregated load may be defined as resources at the transmission level which are "visible" and controllable by the system operator, according to Leidos.

Aggregated loads can then be managed similarly, if not identically, to an electrical power generating plant via dispatch instructions and related telemetry. In many respects ILM performs like a pumped storage facility but on the demand side of the power system via a virtual power plant.

In a November 2013 story, Greentech Media's Jeff St. John heralded Leidos's role in PowerShift Atlantic, "an innovative project spanning Canada's three Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island." The system controls a combined 11.5 MW of loads that range from "big industrial HVAC systems and water pumping stations, to thousands of remote-controllable water heaters in customers' homes." These loads-networked and managed with technology from ENBALA Power Networks and Integral Analytics-can help the provinces integrate their 675 MW-and growing-on- and offshore wind power capacity and will likely be applicable to other wind- and solar-heavy grids.

American Water for expanding its relationship with ENBALA Power Networks to harness the flexibility of the company's demand-side assets to deliver grid balance to the electric power system.

As CCBJ readers know, ENBALA's innovative technology manages the way treatment plants and pumps use power without impacting the efficiency of the plants' processes or operational costs. Instead of adjusting power generation to match second-by-second changes in electrical demand, ENBALA's system adjusts the demand of the pumps and operational equipment so generation can be operated at optimal levels and efficiency. American Water and other participants receive cash payment in exchange for the return of energy to the grid.

In addition to a pilot program at Pennsylvania American Water's Shire Oaks pumping system, which came on-line in 2012, New Jersey American Water's Canal Road Water Treatment Plant is in the final testing stages and was expected to be online in December 2013.

The pilot study showed the SCADA system could respond within seconds and the entire demand-response process was seamless to the water plant operator. Because of the inherent flexibility of water plant operations, the ENBALA Power Network could slow down or speed up pumping without any observable impact on plant operation.