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Demand response management system will be deployed at Great River Energy in 2016


For decades, Great River Energy has responded to heightened electric demand by systematically suspending service to air conditioners, water heaters, irrigators – even entire businesses. The practice of actively managing system demand in order to reduce costs is known as demand response.

Historically, Great River Energy did this through a single system that would communicate to hundreds of thousands of devices installed in homes and businesses.

“Technology advancements in utility metering, industrial control systems and home automation all provide new and exciting ways to achieve demand reductions across our system. However, it has also fractured the single-system approach to our demand response operations,” said Eddie Webster, demand response and emerging technology lead at Great River Energy. “What was once a single system is now many. Adapting to this new technology landscape and coordinating control across many technologies presents an operational challenge.”

To reduce the burden of managing many technologies and maintain the proven value to members, Great River Energy will deploy a new demand response management system (DRMS) in 2016.

Great River Energy expects greater capabilities and additional value due to the DRMS’s ability to accommodate the increasing amount of information from new technologies. Additional data and heightened accuracy adds up to superior demand response intelligence—and ultimately more value for members.

According to Webster, the system will also provide a deeper understanding of the impact demand response has on the wholesale power market, a single distribution cooperative or even a single household.

“Manually trying to glean insights from all of that data is impossible,” Webster said. “Utilizing the robust capabilities of this sytem, we will be able to navigate the big data our cooperatives are generating across their systems to make better business decisions.”