Demand response is a key strategy that helps us curtail energy use—without any impact on service. It makes real sense for us.
The most important benefit of demand response is that it can be easily implemented by EMWD—without requiring major changes or affecting its core mission of providing clean water to its constituents. Under the program terms, EMWD can choose to participate in a dispatch at varying levels by choosing to run its equipment at lower levels or shutting them down completely. And it always has the option of manually restarting whenever it needs to.
Key benefits that Enel X DR brings to Eastern Municipal Water District include:
Reduction without BUGs
The agency’s wastewater treatment facilities have on-site electrical generation capabilities with state-of-the-art, gas-powered backup generators (BUGs) capable of generating more than 6 MW. However, at its water treatment facilities that are enrolled in this program, EMWD does not have BUGs. Its reduction of 1.5 MW is achieved completely via energy reductions, not backup generation.
Part of a Comprehensive Strategy
EMWD actively pursues and participates in a wide range of programs offered by Southern California Edison. “We’ve always taken a position where we try to be flexible about our energy use,” says Howell. “And over the years we’ve developed a comprehensive energy strategy.” For example, its wastewater treatment plants participate in Southern California Edison’s I-6 Program for Large Interruptible Accounts, which offers lower electricity rates. Demand response fills a clear role in its portfolio of efforts aimed at reducing energy use, lowering costs, and maximizing the efficiency of electricity use throughout EMWD.
A Professional DR Partner
Working with Enel X has been a great experience, according to Howell. “The demand response program is very professionally operated,” he says. “I’m impressed with the communications and very comfortable with our partnership with Enel X.”
Now that initial testing of demand response at two of EMWD’s facilities has proven successful, the district is evaluating other likely DR candidates among its nearly 250 additional facilities. “We’ll be looking at possible facilities that can be enrolled and that can reduce demand via curtailment,” says Howell. “As long as we can manage the program centrally, we can continue to add other facilities. I anticipate that approximately ten of our facilities may participate eventually.”
The water industry, in my opinion, has the potential to significantly impact the power demands of the state of California. We can reduce enough that we can put a serious dent in the state’s peak electrical demand.
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