Provides for real-time dispatching and verification of demand response using Oncor's Dallas Smart Grid System
GERMANTOWN, Md., Jan. 22 - ,CURRENT Group, LLC announces the deployment of the nation's first high-speed utility home area network (HAN) using programmable communicating thermostats (PCTs) and load control switches communicating over the Smart Grid deployed for Oncor Electric Delivery Company in Dallas, Texas. The system communicates demand response requests and other critical information from the utility to the customer and verifies the results of the requests, all in real-time. This unique solution will be used initially by retail electric providers Direct Energy, Reliant Energy and TXU Energy as part of a joint collaborative effort by the Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies (CCET) to bring innovative technologies to Texas.
"The CURRENT Smart Grid(TM) solution allows consumers to participate in programs designed to reduce the cost or environmental impact of electric usage and for the utility to verify in real-time that usage has actually declined, thus allowing the use of less generation with the resulting reduction in emissions," said Tom Casey, Chief Executive Officer of CURRENT. "These capabilities, along with our announcement on underground cable fault detection, show how the CURRENT Smart Grid solution is solving real problems of utilities that are not solved by AMI systems."
Real-time load control has the greatest value of any type of demand response, especially in unexpectedly tight market conditions, according to a 2007 Brattle Group report. Using data from a heat wave in the Mid-Atlantic market, PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization in that region, estimated that use of real-time curtailment of power would save more than $650 million in energy cost over just one week.
CURRENT's system uses a high-speed broadband over power line (BPL) network to communicate from the utility control center into the home to PCTs and load control switches from CURRENT's partner, Corporate Systems Engineering, as well as to any other Internet based devices such as computers or in-home displays.
"The use of BPL enables a whole ecosystem of new Internet enabled devices and services," said Steve Taylor, president of Corporate Systems Engineering. "The system is easy to interface with, and reaches throughout the home."
With a customer's permission, the temperature at the thermostat can be adjusted automatically from the utility control center during periods of high electricity demand. In the future, appliances and other devices will be enabled to respond automatically to energy savings commands. Just as importantly, the use of a high-speed network and CURRENT's CURRENTLook® DR software allow for real-time verification of the results of demand response, eliminating any uncertainty as to whether the requested demand response actually occurred. Combined with CURRENT's sensing capabilities throughout the distribution grid, demand response strategies can even be targeted at the individual substation, feeder or even transformer to lower load when distribution equipment problems are detected. For the first time, utilities will know of equipment issues and have the ability to reduce load to prevent outages while dispatching crews to fix the problem.
CURRENT provides electric utilities a Smart Grid solution that increases the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid while reducing the environmental impact of electric usage. Our integrated solution combines advanced sensing technology, two-way high-speed communications, 24/7 monitoring and enterprise analysis software and related services to provide location-specific, real-time actionable data. CURRENT is also a fully- integrated communications service provider, with the capability to offer high- performance broadband services and home energy management services to every plug in every home or office using the electric wires.
CURRENT, a privately-held company based in Germantown, MD, was founded in 2000. Investors include EnerTech Capital, Google Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co., and Liberty Associated Partners (an investment partnership between Liberty Media Corporation and the Berkman family), among others. CURRENT has been recognized by many awards including the 2006 Platts' "Global Energy Commercial Technology of the Year" for its technology in relation to emissions reduction, practicality, reliability and overall commercial success, and Red Herring's 2006 "Top 100 North America."
About Corporate Systems Engineering
Corporate Systems Engineering, a privately-held clean energy technology company based in Indianapolis, Indiana, provides "green energy" through demand response and integrated communications with advanced metering initiatives.
The Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies was created in 2005 by the electric industry and technology companies. CCET is made up of 19 Texas electric and high tech companies joined with five universities in a collaborative effort to modernize the Texas electric system. CCET's purpose is to encourage private sector initiatives that promote growth in high-quality employment, and to lead to scientific breakthroughs in the operation of the Texas electric system.
Source: CURRENT Group, LLC
CONTACT: Melissa Kresse
Melissa.Kresse@FD.com, for CURRENT