The more than 600,000 electric customers served by Colombian utility Empresas Municipales de Cali E.I.C.E. E.S.P. (EMCALI) are among those who may benefit from a new advanced energy project launched June 30, in the city of Cali, Colombia. After a successful initial feasibility study, EMCALI has deployed Innovari's Interactive Energy Platform™ (IEP) to manage energy in strategically selected buildings across the city.
The project is part of EMCALI's effort, following the historic drought of 2014, to expand long-term solutions beyond dependency on hydroelectric power to meet peak energy needs and to add affordable, clean capacity that will uphold reliability. EMCALI is taking an entirely new approach to managing peak demand by unlocking capacity from the distribution grid to balance supply and demand resources and to optimize grid performance and utilization. "While most utilities' grid utilization is around 43 percent, EMCALI aims for 73 percent utilization through the IEP," said Manuel Arancibia, Innovari president of Latin America.
The project includes a wide variety of facility types including several Alamacenes La 14 supermarkets, the Universidad del Valle campus and EMCALI's corporate offices. EMCALI customers will be reducing load – or energy demand – through temporary changes in thermostat settings and reductions in non-essential lighting without any impact to operations or comfort. Through the IEP, all actions are fully automated and both customer environment and load reduction feedback are monitored in real-time. This effectively unlocks affordable capacity in the distribution grid so the utility can improve utilization of the grid resources they already have – without adding costly generation resources.
"The IEP automates electricity consumption during peak hours using an approach that is so subtle and efficient, there is no noticeable impact on business operations or customer experience," said Andres Felipe Jaramillo Salazar, EMCALI manager of the energy strategic business unit. "Customers report that buildings still feel cool, yet they are reducing demand on the grid, while saving money and contributing to more affordable and reliable power across the region."
This project with EMCALI is another step for Innovari in expanding its global presence. Innovari recently announced a grid optimization project in Turkey with utility Kayseri ve Civarı Elektrik Turk A.S. (KCETAS) and has ongoing projects in seven nations across four continents.