Austin Energy Goes Live With AutoGrid DROMS to Conduct First Demand Response Events With ChargePoint Electric Vehicle Charging Network and Customers' Choice of Thermostats
AUSTIN, TX, and REDWOOD SHORES, CA, Aug 05, 2013 (Marketwired via COMTEX) --
Customer choice in energy management took a significant step forward
this month when Austin Energy successfully conducted back-to-back
demand response events with the Demand Response Optimization and
Management System (DROMS), a cloud-based platform from AutoGrid
Systems that reduces critical peak power safely, securely and
unobtrusively through Big Data analytics.
Austin Energy's program is groundbreaking in providing customers with
a choice when it comes to hardware. Under the Austin initiative,
consumers are allowed to select their own thermostat from a number of
different manufacturers, including ecobee. The program also covers
Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations from ChargePoint, the largest
network of EV charging spots worldwide. Consumers are free to opt-out
of individual events.
Using AutoGrid's DROMS platform, Austin Energy was also able to plan
and declare demand response events more quickly than logging into
multiple vendor portals would require. The events occurred on July
11, 12, 25, 31 and August 1, the first of many to come this summer.
As the weather heats up, programs like these will be crucial to
prevent electricity demand from exceeding supply, which can lead to
exorbitant bills or blackouts. The Electric Reliability Council of
Texas (ERCOT) predicts this summer's peak load to be even higher than
the all-time record high of 68,305 MW set on August 3, 2011.
"Austin Energy and AutoGrid are creating a blueprint for making
demand response a widespread phenomenon," said Stuart Lombard,
President and CEO, ecobee. "Consumers want to participate in these
programs and lower their bills, but they also want to have the final
word on what thermostat will best suit their home comfort needs. We
believe this sort of flexibility and control, along with the lower
costs inherent in a software-based system, will accelerate the
implementation of demand response."
These events also mark the first time EV charging stations are used
to dispatch multiple chargers in a residential setting.
"We're very happy with the results," said Dimitrios Papadagonas, Vice
President of Marketing of ChargePoint. "This shows that load from EV
charging can be managed easily and that smart EV charging networks
are an asset for improving grid reliability."
Traditional demand response systems have typically required
proprietary hardware to be installed in homes or commercial
buildings. Scheduling a demand response event with conventional
systems can also take days or weeks of planning to ensure
participation. Expense, complexity, and lack of consumer choice have
limited the acceptance and expansion of programs in the past and led
to higher cost for utilities by creating vendor lock.
"We are very excited to work with Austin Energy, one of the true
visionaries in the electric utility industry, and industry leaders
such as ecobee and ChargePoint in making true customer choice a
practical reality," said Dr. Amit Narayan, founder and CEO of
AutoGrid. "Austin Energy's program is a perfect example of how open,
scalable and extensible demand side management program can improve
consumer adoption and satisfaction while solving grid challenges
cost-effectively and reliably."
DROMS is compatible with thermostats and other equipment from over
100 manufacturers and is the only system in the market capable of
supporting multiple standards such as OpenADR 1.0, OpenADR 2.0, Smart
Energy Profile 1.x and 2.0, simultaneously. By providing the ability
to connect to a wide range of devices from a broad spectrum of
manufacturers through multiple communications channels, AutoGrid's
DROMS makes participation in demand response events more accessible
and enjoyable for customers.
DROMS is a cloud-based demand management system that employs Big Data
analytics, a physics-based model of the grid and information streams
from smart meters and other grid assets to accurately predict
electricity demand. The near-term forecasts permit utilities, grid
operators and large power consumers to securely shift power
consumption to meet financial or operational goals. DROMS can cut the
cost of demand response systems by 90 percent while increasing the
"yield" of power from demand response events by 30 percent. DROMS is
the first application built on AutoGrid's Energy Data Platform.
Some of the highlights of the Austin Energy program:
-- Consumers were able to select their own brand of thermostat at retail
outlets and enroll in Austin Energy's program through the portal
provided by the device manufacturer.
-- Austin Energy was able to notify customers via email in addition to
direct communication across different devices and channels of
communication for automated participation in events.
-- On the demand response event for July 11, 85 percent of the available
ChargePoint EV charging stations and 80 percent of customers with
ecobee thermostats enrolled in the program participated in the event.
-- On July 12, 100 percent of ChargePoint stations participated and 90
percent of ecobee customers participated. The remaining 10 percent of
the customers opted-out through the thermostat portal.
-- Austin Energy was able to reschedule the July 12 event across all
devices within two minutes of deciding, a process that would take much
longer logging into multiple vendor portals.
-- The DROMS system is able to generate detailed reports and analytics
across device groups, load shed policies such as absolute or relative
temperature, duty cycle, randomized start time.
-- Austin Energy is able to group events based on the reason the event
was created in DROMS system. These reasons could be peak management,
grid reliability, wholesale market demand charge, or locational
marginal pricing, among others.
Founded in 2011, AutoGrid is dedicated to bringing the power of Big
Data, predictive analytics and Internet scale computational
techniques to the production and consumption of electricity. Serving
utilities of all sizes, grid operators, electricity retailers, ESCO
services companies, and end-users, AutoGrid develops and markets
software solutions that both help lower costs and improve reliability
of the electricity supply chain. AutoGrid's technology was awarded
the prestigious Department of Energy's Advanced Projects Research
Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) funding in 2012. For more, please see our
website or contact us.
About Austin Energy
Austin Energy is the nation's eighth largest community-owned electric
utility, serving more than 420,000 customers. The utility is a
recognized leader in renewable energy, smart grid technologies, and
energy efficiency initiatives as well as integrating these
technologies into commercial operations. It has set goals of getting
35 percent of its power from renewable resources by 2020 while
reducing emissions to 20 percent below 2005 levels.
Contact for AutoGrid:
SOURCE: AutoGrid Systems
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