Tulsa, Okla., January 24, 2012 — The editors of POWERGRID International magazine (formerly Utility Automation & Engineering T&D magazine) and PennWell Corp. have announced four winners for the magazine's annual Projects of the Year Awards program.
The winners were selected for four specific categories: Best Energy Efficiency/Demand Response Project, Best Grid Integration of Renewables Project, Best Smart Grid Project and Best Smart Metering Project.
The awards were given out today during the keynote presentation at the DistribuTECH 2012 conference in San Antonio.
For more details on these award winners, see the April issue of POWERGRID International magazine.
Best Energy Efficiency/Demand Response Project
Finalists in the 2012 Energy Efficiency/Demand Response Project of the Year category include Ameren Illinois for the ActOnEnergy program and Baltimore Gas & Electric for the Smart Energy Savers program.
The winner of the Energy Efficiency/Demand Response Project of the Year Award is Duke Energy for the utility's Smart Energy Now program.
As part of the Envision: Charlotte initiative, Duke Energy started a new pilot program called Smart Energy Now to create energy and capacity reductions through behavioral modifications. The program targets occupants and managers of commercial buildings and provides them with detailed information on their buildings' energy usage. This allows them to make comparisons between their energy performance and that of other buildings within the community—and to take actionable steps to improve energy consumption.
Duke Energy, Cisco and Verizon launched the campaign in the community with a goal to make Charlotte the most environmentally sustainable urban core in the nation. Kiosks are activated with live energy data and provide building occupants with information about the current energy consumption, recommendations and tips for changes they can make to decrease their energy usage.
The program captures data from over 150 meters in 65 buildings on a near real-time basis, aggregating and normalizing that data and working with several partners to generate community level content.
Best Grid Integration of Renewables Project
The winner of the Grid Integration of Renewables Project of the Year Award is the California ISO for the ISO's visual approach to managing renewable energy.
The California Independent System Operator Corporation is a non-profit public benefit corporation that manages 80 percent of California's power grid and its wholesale electricity market.
California has one of the world's most ambitious agendas for addressing climate change, with a goal of generating 33 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020. The California ISO needed to be able to optimize resources in order to achieve the right balance between intermittent and highly variable renewable energy, while ensuring stability and reliability of the electric grid.
The California ISO turned to situational intelligence software that integrates with the ISO's existing systems and databases, gathers data from multiple different sources and presents the results in intuitive visual displays. The renewables intelligence application provides dispatchers with the ability to assess, in real-time, current conditions so they can make appropriate adjustments. In addition, it enables California ISO to stay within defined limits on the circuit path.
Best Smart Grid Project
Finalists in the 2012 Smart Grid Project of the Year category include Duke Energy for the company's smart grid vision and LIGHT SEAS in Brazil for the company's distribution automation for underground power vaults.
The winner of the Smart Grid Project of the Year Award is AEP Ohio for the utility's gridSMART demonstration project.
The AEP Ohio gridSMART demonstration project is taking a community-based approach to leading the nation in developing and implementing smart technologies for energy delivery. The project incorporates a full suite of advanced grid technologies for 110,000 customers on a site selected for its concentration and diversity of distribution infrastructure and consumers.
The project includes a new distribution management system, integrated volt/VAR control, automated circuit reconfiguration, AMI, HAN, community energy storage and renewable generation sources. These technologies are combined with two-way consumer communication and information sharing, demand response, dynamic pricing and consumer products such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and smart appliances.
In addition, the project incorporates comprehensive cybersecurity capabilities, interoperability and a data assessment process that, with grid simulation capabilities, will make the demonstration results a readily adaptable, integrated solution for AEP.
The solution is expected to reduce demand by 15 megawatts, reduce energy consumption by 18,000 megawatt-hours, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 16,650 tons and save consumers an estimated $5.75 million over the length of the project.
Best Smart Metering Project
The winner of the Smart Metering Project of the Year Award is Toronto Hydro for the utility's advanced metering project.
Ontario, home to one-third of all Canadians, has taken aggressive steps to foster a "conservation culture."
As part of this initiative, Toronto Hydro, one of the largest municipal utilities in Canada, worked with strategic partners to implement advanced metering and dynamic pricing structures.
With the introduction of time-of-use (TOU) rates in Ontario, Toronto Hydro developed a strategy: The utility would utilize technology to increase its level of customer service and to educate consumers on actual usage patterns. Toronto Hydro has launched a number of programs to encourage consumers to become more aware of their TOU rates.
More than 500,000 homes and businesses transitioned to TOU rates and more than 100,000 customers have signed on to view their electricity usage through a customer Web portal.
AMI enables Toronto Hydro to read hourly interval data and retrieve voltage data from all endpoints. The two-way networking has the ability to penetrate most meters, despite a dense urban environment.