17th PLMA Award Winners in March 2020

PLMA Recognizes Leading Energy Utility Industry Load Management Initiatives

PLMA Annual Award Winners

PLMA (Peak Load Management Alliance) announces six winners of its 17th PLMA Awards. Those recognized for outstanding load management programs, initiatives, and achievements in calendar year 2019 are:

Program Pacesetters

  • National Grid and EnergyHub for National Grid Connected Solutions
  • Arizona Public Service and EnergyHub for APS Distributed Energy Resource Aggregations (Rewards Programs and Solar Communities)

Technology Pioneers

  • Connected Energy (UK) Ltd for Battery Recycling in Belgium
  • Austin Energy for Austin SHINES Project

Thought Leaders

  • CPS Energy for Public Engagement
  • City of New York, Department of Citywide Administrative Services for Building Operator Engagement

The Awards were presented on April 22, 2020 during a free online webcast as part of the 41st PLMA Conference.  Each winning initiative will be featured in a free PLMA Load Management Dialogue webcast/podcast as follows: 

  • May 21 – National Grid and EnergyHub for National Grid Connected Solutions
  • June 4 – Arizona Public Service and EnergyHub for APS Distributed Energy Resource Aggregations
  • June 18 – Connected Energy (UK) Ltd for Battery Recycling in Belgium
  • July 9 – Austin Energy for Austin SHINES Project
  • July 16 – CPS Energy for Public Engagement
  • Aug. 13 – City of New York, Dept of Citywide Admin Services for Building Operator Engagement

Webinar/podcast registration information will be available at www.peakload.org/calendar.

The 17th PLMA Awards recognize industry leaders who created, during calendar year 2019, innovative ideas, methods, programs and technologies that manage end use loads to meet peak load needs and support successful grid integration of distributed energy resources. Over the past 16 years, PLMA has presented over 80 awards to recipients who have included utilities, product/service providers, end-users, and individuals responsible for demand response efforts targeted to the residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customer markets.

PLMA (Peak Load Management Alliance) was founded in 1999 as a community of experts and practitioners dedicated to sharing knowledge and providing resources to promote inclusiveness in the design, delivery, technology, and management of solutions addressing energy and natural resource integration. The non-profit association provides a forum for practitioners to share dynamic load management expertise, including demand response and distributed energy resources.


About the 17th PLMA Award Winners

Program Pacesetter

National Grid and EnergyHub for National Grid ConnectedSolutions

National Grid’s ConnectedSolutions program is the nation’s first pay-for-performance-based Bring-Your-Own-Battery Demand Response (DR) program. The program has shown how to cost-effectively incentivize customers to purchase batteries and allow the utility to discharge those batteries to reduce peaks on the grid. The program provides residential, commercial, and industrial battery owners across Massachusetts and Rhode Island with incentives from $200-400/kW-performed per year in exchange for providing battery capacity to support a more sustainable and efficient grid. The program embraces consumer choice by enabling participation with battery integrators from Tesla, Sunrun, Generac, SolarEdge, and Sonnen through an integration with a single Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) platform provided by EnergyHub. With the goal of enrolling 17 MW of load relief by the end of 2021, the program is on track to provide more than $15,000,000 per year in system benefits, which will reduce costs for all customers. This program started as a National Grid program, but it has been so successful that it has since been adopted by Eversource and Unitil. These utilities work together to offer one consistent program for customers.

Arizona Public Service and EnergyHub for APS Distributed Energy Resource Aggregations (Rewards Programs and Solar Communities)

Arizona Public Service (APS) has implemented programs that reimagine the relationship between a utility and distributed energy resources (DERs) and that will be instrumental in its commitment to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050. APS uses EnergyHub’s Mercury DERMS platform to dynamically manage a portfolio of grid-edge assets including thermostats, batteries, water heaters, and solar inverters for an array of grid services. APS leverages DERs for peak demand reduction, load shifting and renewables matching, solar management, and advanced load and capacity forecasting. Services are available year round, multiple times a day, unlike event-based calls for DR. They have implemented these programs with both bring-your-own and direct install models. APS has evolved from a DERMS early-adopter to a pioneer of a customer-centric approach to managing the grid.


Technology Pioneer

Connected Energy (UK) Ltd for Battery Recycling in Belgium

Connected Energy (UK) Ltd.’s system installed at the Umicore industrial site in Belgium reuses Renault Kangoo batteries which previously powered 48 vehicles in France. The system provides a frequency response service to Elia, the Belgium system operator, to help it balance electricity supply and demand for network stability. It is the first time 'second-life’ batteries have been used at an industrial scale in this way in the country. The batteries have a combined energy storage capacity of 720 kWh and can deliver 1.2 MW in power. With solution project partner ENGIE, the battery is optimised in real-time as part of a synchronized asset stack providing revenue generation and power quality management for global materials technology and recycling group Umicore who also recycle EV batteries. The installation will give the company insight into the process of wear in the batteries, which can help to build better batteries.

Austin Energy for Austin SHINES Project

The Austin SHINES project (Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV) pilots the integration of utility-scale, commercial, and residential resources on the distribution grid and under the holistic coordination of a DERMS platform (Distributed Energy Resource Management System). The DERMS was provided and developed with the utility’s project partner, Doosan GridTech, and performs as a tool enabling varied and stacked asset management use cases. In addition to controlling fielded assets, of solar PV and battery energy storage, at both utility and aggregated customer sites, the software helps model different mixes and configurations of assets to determine the best value proposition against cases of holistic controls, autonomous and no controls of DERs (Distributed Energy Resources). Hands-on deployment, in combination with modeling, has offered a rich field from which to gather a better understanding of the opportunities, challenges, and realities of DER integration that pioneers a new gridscape. The methodology for management was documented as a replicable and configurable technique to serve other utilities, across multiple jurisdictions.


Thought Leader

CPS Energy for Public Engagement

Recognizing the need to protect their customers from potential increase in energy costs resulting from projected peak load demands and megawatt availability in the ERCOT market, CPS Energy’s leadership challenged the Demand Response (DR) team to grow the company’s DR program for summer 2019 by 28 megawatts. The team created a plan to grow through behavioral DR, wifi thermostats, and both commercial and public customer engagement. Multiple new program options were created or expanded, including DR Coaching for commercial customers and an expanded behavioral DR program to 300,000 residential customers. To achieve this goal, a public engagement campaign engaging a local news station was created. The plan focused on adding an energy peak awareness message as part of the weather segment of the newscast. When a DR event was anticipated, the weather reporter would encourage viewers to lower energy usage throughout the day. At the end of the day, a follow up thank you message was announced during the nightly newscast. Through this effort of directly engaging the customer, CPS Energy exceeded the goal by adding over 40 MWs of DR to the portfolio.  To promote friendly competition, customers in the program were able to see their kwh reduction versus their neighbors and where they ranked in energy savings.

City of New York, Department of Citywide Administrative Services for Building Operator Engagement

The NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), through its Division of Energy Management, had the vision to expand an initial electricity-only Demand Response program that encompasses 470 facilities across 30 city agencies and institutions. It’s the single largest contributor to grid relief in the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) NYC Zone J territory. In addition to Demand Response, DCAS’s work expanded to include Real-Time Metering (RTM) and Load Management programs. The RTM program has deployed near-real time metering for electricity use across 500 facilities, monitoring 55% of municipal peak load. The program now also includes monitoring of gas and steam usage. To help drive these programs, DCAS partnered with NuEnergen to develop data visualization tools, offer mobile access, and provide training opportunities. DCAS has also created a dedicated, in-house team with engineering and analytical expertise, undertaken proactive relationship management with facility operators, launched hands-on, peer-driven learning environments in partnership with the City University of New York’s Building Performance Lab, and offered staff recognition of outstanding efforts.