Powering Strong Communities

City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Heartland Consumers Power District earn R&D excellence award

Heartland Consumers Power District and the City of Tallahassee Electric Utility in Florida have earned the 2021 Award of Continued Excellence (ACE) from the American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments (DEED) program.

The award recognizes continued commitment to the DEED program and its ideals, including support of research, development and demonstration, improving efficiency, renewable resources, and support of public power. The award was presented during the APPA’s virtual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference this week.

South Dakota-based Heartland has been a DEED member since 1987 and extends its DEED membership to all its utility members and actively promotes DEED programs to their customers.

Heartland has benefited from sponsoring four interns with scholarships, which included projects that ranged from performing customer research to evaluating the effect of economic development incentives to creating a renewable energy calculator.

Heartland won an Energy Innovator Award in 2020 for the renewable energy calculator created as a result of internships and participated in two DEED webinars to share how to use the calculator with others. 

Heartland launched its energy efficiency program, Power Forward, in 2009. As a wholesale power supplier, Heartland provides rebates to residential and commercial customers within customer communities for energy efficiency upgrades. Heartland also provides energy efficiency grants to customers who make energy efficient upgrades to city facilities. Heartland has assisted with the upgrade of more than 2,000 streetlights to LED.

Heartland continues to investigate new methods and systems to improve utility operations and help its utility members to operate more efficiently, such as by funding meter upgrades and investing in forecasting software and other tools to provide cost savings to its utility customers.

Tallahassee joined DEED in 1986 and has been involved in several projects, including a 1994 grant for a thermal mapping project, sponsoring and mentoring three DEED scholarship recipients, and earning two Energy Innovator Awards; one in 2012 for its Neighborhood REACH Program, a collaborative effort to improve livability in traditionally low-income areas, and a second in 2015 for its rebate program for energy and water conservation.  

Over the years the utility has been a partner in federal, state and local R&D initiatives. Most recently, it collaborated with the Department of Energy, its national labs, and Nhu Energy to carry out research critically important to expanding solar and energy storage, known as the Florida Alliance for Accelerating Solar and Storage Technology Readiness. In 2020 they shared lessons learned from that project with the wider public power community on a DEED webinar. 

The City of Tallahassee has committed to numerous sustainability goals and efforts including 100 percent clean energy by 2050, 100 percent clean energy for City Operations by 2035, development of a Clean Energy Integrated Resource Plan, electrification of City and Florida State University buses, and installation of fast charging stations. 

For more information about DEED, visit www.PublicPower.org/DEED-Awards.