Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Demand Response: Refreshingly Effective

This one's short and sweet: demand response (DR) works. It may not be the answer to all our energy woes, but it afford-ably accomplishes what it seeks to accomplish, simultaneously reducing its customers' costs and emissions. In case you missed the recent heat wave recounted in the article (you were probably having one of your own), here's a good part:
When two power plants failed in ISO’s New England service region in late June, energy prices momentarily spiked to $1,000 per megawatt-hours. EnerNOC’s DemandSMART network sprang into action and ISO was able to meet demand and avoid a hit to its bottom line by reducing demand by 380 megawatts. According to EnerNOC, this was accomplished largely because of its network operations center, which remotely enlisted over 1,000 assets during a two and half hour dispatch and managed 500,000 data transactions to manage the situation in real-time.
More on this here, and even more now awaits folks with Earth2tech's premium subscription. As with other new forms of data-driven grid functionality, DR applications open new doors through which bad actors might enter. So far, though, it seems the DR folks at EnerNOC and elsewhere are running a tight (enough) ship.

Photo credit: liz west at

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