Wayne Gardner - Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
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Wayne Gardner - Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

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June 15, 2011...

June 15, 2011

Wayne Gardner's presentation from America’s Sustainable Future: How U.S. Cities Are Making Energy Work, an invitational conference of public-private partnership efforts from U.S. cities pursuing innovative energy management and smart grid initiatives. The assembled leaders in industry, research and policy-making will explore the diverse energy strategies emerging in Philadelphia and across the United States.

“We’re really looking forward to both learning from the great examples set by other cities represented in the conference, and showing off the groundbreaking work happening right here in Philadelphia,” says Laurie Actman, Viridity Energy’s director of strategic partnerships and public policy.

“With smart ideas and smart policy, we should be able to build support for smart grid projects and microgrids at the federal, state and local level.”"Energy technology is changing at such a rapid pace, it's crucial to examine who's doing it right in smart grid and microgrid projects all around the country," says Eugenie Birch, Penn IUR co-director.

"With the right policy moves—which we'll be exploring at the conference—Philadelphia can be a national leader in energy innovation," noted Susan Wachter, Penn IUR co-director.

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  • Requires EDCs with at least 100,000 customers to adopt & implement cost-effective energy efficiency & conservation plans to reduce energy demand & consumption.Each EDC must file plans to replace all of its old meters with smart meters capable of bidirectional communication over the next 15 years (or sooner upon an individual customer’s request and payment of cost, and on all new construction).-Deployment of automatic meter readers may be considered the first step-PA Utilities like PPL began a program years ago to make the switch to automatic meter readersThe major EDC’s in Pennsylvania have all received PA PUC approval of their smart meter implementation plans.PECO: PECO filed a plan with the PUC to install more than 1.6 million residential and commercial smart meters and deploy advanced communications networks.  One of the largest investments in company history, the $650 million plan – along with the company’s broader smart grid plan and recent stimulus grant application – could save customers about $1.5 billion during the life of the project, improve service and benefit the environment. PECO’s smart meter plan will seek approval to install the advanced metering infrastructure, backbone communications network and information systems to integrate customer energy usage with utility operations.  The communications networks – fiber optics and wireless – will enable two-way communication.  The company plans to build an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and provide smart meters to all of its 1.6 million customers in 10 years. PECO has already selected vendors and smart meter technology, and is currently field testing its Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) as well as developing the technology necessary to support smart meters and related systems.Pennsylvania company Viridityreceived $1.2 million to support the implementation of smart grid technologyPPL: PPL was an early adopter of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), having installed the meters several years before there was a legal requirement to even submit a plan. Accordingly, PPL states that its current meters either meet or exceed the minimum requirements of Act 129 under the Public Utility Commission's order.  Notwithstanding, beginning in January 2011, PPL will launch pilot programs for bidirectional data communications capability, direct customer access to price and usage data and remote disconnection and reconnection. PPL will evaluate semiannually next-generation AMI technologies and smart-grid integration. First Energy:By the end of 2013, a pilot batch of 5,000 to 10,000 smart meters will be deployed; this technical trial will feature an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) test laboratory. Following a successful trial, it will deploy up to 60,000 smart meters to “de-bug” the system before full deployment. Duquesne:Like other utilities' plans, much of Duquesne's final deployment plan will be shaped by the outcomes of these assessments. Duquesne has a contractual obligation with Itron for Automatic Meter Reading infrastructure maintenance, which does note expire until the end of 2013.  Once the Itron contract expires, it will begin its 5-year major deployment of smart meters beginning in 2014 to be completed by January 2019, according to its 2009 smart meter plan.  Allegheny Power:By December 31,2010, Allegheny will have trained personnel, installed support equipment and software, established network designs and tested and certified Electronic Data Interchange transaction capability, paving the way for the first batch of 93,100 smart meters to be deployed in March of 2011.
  • Viridity Energy:Headquartered right in our backyard: Conshohocken, Pennsylvania -- founded in 2008.Viridity works with large institutions such as college campuses, federal and municipal complexes, military bases, industrial companies, and hospitals to optimize their portfolios of buildings and energy investments by creating unified power assets.For example:Viridity Energy has participated in the filing of Department of Energy federal grant applications with ConEdison and PECO. Viridity Energy is working in together with PECO to fulfill on the mandates of Act 129.VPower?  Viridity Energy has developed VPower™, an energy optimization platform that generates revenue for clients by enabling them to participate in wholesale power markets. Using VPower™, clients can maximize economic value through efficient use of distributed resources such as cogeneration, solar, energy storage systems and controllable loads, while simultaneously achieving sustainability objectives. Within a given electricity market, VPower™ allows clients’ controllable resources to appear to the Market Operator as a single, Virtual Generator optimized and ready to be dispatched into the capacity, day-ahead and real-time energy markets.load forecasting techniques, market pricing forecasts, advanced generation, storage and demanding forecast algorithms and a powerful optimizer to obtain day ahead and real-time run schedules fully integrated with wholesale power markets. Other considerations include weather-dependent renewable generation forecasts, as well as technical, contractual and environmental factors. The fully integrated VPower™ day-ahead price-sensitive forecast provides the wholesale energy markets with client load elasticity sufficient to achieve maximum market efficiency at the lowest market clearing prices.The VPower system optimizes usage, and transforms energy consumers into virtual power plants that can manage energy efficiency, decrease costs, and create revenue that helps users meet growth and sustainability goals.Drexel University: By connecting the building systems to the internet, Viridity can remotely control HVAC systems for optimal functions,saving them 20% on energy costs in the 3 test buildings.Viridity is also developing technology to deploy a groundbreaking campus-wide microgrid project at the University of California, San Diego, serving a daily population of 45,000.Eaton Corporation: This company has partnered with the US Army to develop a project that is intended to achieve uninterrupted power supply, independent of commercial utility power, for critical mission and support functions. The system will be able to operate while reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions. The first year of the project will focus on Research and Development at Eaton’s Innovation Center in Pittsburgh.Philadelphia Navy Yard: Solar Integration System (SIS)  Sunverge has developed a distributed energy solution (to be featured at the Navy Yard) that captures solar energy and allows it to be used during peak demand hours. This provides improvements in power quality, and benefits the system by reducing peak load, flattening peak electricity demand, maximizing returns on renewable energy investments, and reducing GHG emissions.Large-format Lithium ion batteries are being manufactured in Allentown, PA, and are being used for this project.Energy storage and smart grid systems represent a new market that could both save energy and create thousands of new jobs, while progressing towards a solution to the problems of intermittent renewables.Smethport, Pennsylvania:is taking a proactive approach with its plan to implement a highly efficient, non-polluting, carbon neutral, microgrid and combined heat and power (CHP) system that uses low-value wood as the energy source. Any excess electricity will be put up for sale and distributed over the existing power grid, providing a new revenue stream for the Borough. Smethport’s goal is to facilitate the research and development of a demonstration pilot plant near or within the borough, which will provide carbon neutral, sustainable, locally produced, renewable electric power and auxiliary district heat to borough customers. There is even the possibility of a joint venture between public and private funding sources and ownership. The project is expected to serve as a model for other communities throughout the Commonwealth as well as nationwide.When combined with smart grid technology, power is better controlled and distributed, leading to more efficient and cost-effective energy use.
  • Penn State Study (2010):Study finds that PA may be politically and economically advantageous for micro-grid deployment due to its permissive net metering and interconnectedness regulations. PA was one of the few states to receive an A on their assessment of net metering tariffs and a B for interconnectedness procedures (No state received an A on the latter). Electricity prices are categorized as “low” or “high,” while the regulatory environment for net metered DG is assessed by averaging each state’s scores for net metering tariffs and interconnection procedures. States with “good” environments for net-metered DG and high electricity prices are considered to be attractive candidates for micro-grid development.Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) legislation: - Envisions the implementation of "microgrids" for a two-fold purpose: local generation and distribution network which can operate parallel with the utility during grid emergencies, or maintains critical infrastructure such as homeland security assignments, emergency services facilities, hospitals, etc. Recognizes the benefits of taking several individually metered facilities with EDC metered accounts, and combining them into one EDC account for the facilityPA Experience and "Net Metering" - Non-residential customers between 3MW and 5 MW need not create a microgrid to get the benefits of net metering. Pennsylvania provides an alternative  Under Act 35, facilities can also take advantage of "virtual meter aggregation". - Pros: Avoid micro grid's physical integration costs - significantly less than investing in new micro grid infrastructure.  - Cons: Virtual meter aggregation does not achieve the benefits of reduced customer and demand distribution-based charges. - Bottom Line: customers must weigh the difference between physical integration costs and any virtual net metering administrative billing costs.Terminology Definitions:Virtual meter aggregation—The combination of readings and billing for all meters regardless of rate class on properties owned or leased and operated by a customer-generator by means of the EDC’s billing process, rather than through physical rewiring of the customer-generator’s property for a physical, single point of contact. Virtual meter aggregation on properties owned or leased and operated by a customer-generator and located within 2 miles of the boundaries of the customer-generator’s property and within a single electric distribution company’s service territory shall be eligible for net metering. Net metering—The means of measuring the difference between the electricity supplied by an electric utility or EGS and the electricity generated by a customer-generator when any portion of the electricity generated by the alternative energy generating system is used to offset part or all of the customer-generator’s requirements for electricity.
  • Consumer interest is high: 2011 study findings: 56% of Americans see smart grid opportunities as “extremely / very appealing” “Working with members of the NARUC-FERC Smart Grid Collaborative will be a promising opportunity to improve Pennsylvania’s infrastructure by developing it into a modern and more reliable system.”“The Smart Grid is the next wave in efficiency and reliability and we are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to learn more about the industry technologies as they continue to change – providing us with a closer look at the cutting edge of technology.”

Wayne Gardner - Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Smart Microgrids: Actions of the PA PUC
    • Act 129 of 2008 creates an Energy Efficiency & Conservation Program to be overseen by the PUC.
    • 2. Reductions in energy use:
    • 3. 1% by 2011
    • 4. 3% by 2013
    • 5. Smart Meter Deployment Plans:
    • 6. PECO – Beginning October 2011 – 1.6 million smart meters in 10 years.
    • 7. PPL –Beginning 2011 – Pilot programs for bidirectional communications.
    • 8. First Energy – By January 2013 – Pilot batch of up to 10,000 smart meters.
    • 9. Duquesne – 5-year major deployment plan, to be completed in 2019.
    • 10. Allegheny – By March 2011 – First batch of 93,100 smart meters deployed.
    1
  • 11. Smart Microgrids: The Pennsylvania Experience
    • Viridity Energy (Conshohocken PA): works with utilities either as a partner or under their brand to achieve energy efficiency mandates such as Act 129
    • 12. Microgridproject at Drexel University – VPowerTechnology – 20% energy cost savings
    • 13. Eaton Corporation (Pittsburgh PA): received $2.4 million in federal stimulus money to develop a smart microgrid to manage energy consumption at military bases.
    • 14. Philadelphia Navy Yard: West coast solar company Sunverge Energy is participating in the Energy Innovation Hub with its Solar Integration System.
    • 15. The Borough of Smethport hopes to achieve comparable energy cost savings with a proposed biomass-fired CHP plant and an associated microgrid.
    2
  • 16. Smart Microgrids: PA gets an “A” for Policy
    3
  • 17. Smart Microgrids: Consumer Awareness
    For Smart Grid technologies to take off, consumers must become more engaged.
    A 2011 EcoPinion survey has found that consumer interest is high: 56% of Americans see smart grid opportunities as “extremely/very appealing.”
    As it implements provisions of Act 129, Pennsylvania will continue to move forward with the concept of a smart grid, paving the way for a smarter national grid.
    4