Distributed Energy Resources

DEED board approves grants for eight new projects

The Board of Directors for the American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments (DEED) program has approved grants for eight new projects including a peak shaving battery energy storage project in North Carolina and a plug-in electric vehicle planning and implementation toolkit for municipal utilities that will be created by the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities and several other partners.

DEED’s board met in April in Colorado Springs, Colo., where grants were approved for the following projects:

Greenville Utilities Commission ($125,000 grant): North Carolina’s Greenville Utilities Commission will conduct a pilot project to determine the technical and financial feasibility of installing future Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) in lieu of traditional reciprocating engine technology for peak shaving applications on its system. The public power utility will develop the technical specifications to advertise a request for proposal to qualified vendors for the turnkey installation of a 1 MW (AC output) BESS to be installed at an existing GUC distribution substation site. This would be directly connected to the utility's electric distribution system.

Belmont Light ($115,000 grant): The Massachusetts public power utility will conduct a modeling study that will serve as a common analytical basis for discussion and decisions concerning town-wide zero net energy planning options. The utility will partner with Ventana Systems, Inc. for model simulation to answer core questions, such as how to decide on the balance of investments among service, conservation, solar programs, batteries, EV infrastructure and other options to achieve long-term goals and how these decisions build toward the viable utility of the future. Deliverables include an implementation strategy made up of actionable modeling results, a roadmap outlining the model, and the cases that result in the optimum balance of initiatives.

Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities ($72,790 grant): The Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities and its project partners at Clark Public Utilities, VEIC, and across IAMU member utilities, will create a plug-in electric vehicle (EV) planning and implementation toolkit for municipal utilities. The toolkit will provide resources to streamline planning and implementation activities for transferability amongst the public power community, as well as materials for estimating EV adoption and associated electric load growth. The anticipated deliverables include EV case studies, cost-benefit analysis resources, and customer engagement tools.

Clarksville Department of Electricity ($10,000 to CDE Lightband): Tennessee public power utility Clarksville Department of Electricity will use the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's System Advisor Model (SAM) to simulate multiple scenarios for the adoption of photovoltaic technologies on Clarksville Department of Electricity’s distribution system. These models will be compared against the metered outputs of an adjustable PV array, installed within the Clarksville Department of Electricity distribution system, and adjusted to match the input parameters being simulated. This study intends to enable other utilities to accurately forecast the effects of PV adoption on their systems. The utility will develop a best practice guide aimed at helping small to mid-size utilities build databases for forecasting the effects of PV adoption on their systems.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power ($125,000 grant): The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the University of California, Riverside (UCR) aim to further develop and improve the performance of a photo-rechargeable Li-ion battery. The project team proposes the fabrication of a solar cell that can not only convert solar energy into electrical energy, but also store it within a single device, while also developing solar PV systems that can dispatch power as needed. LADWP and UCR will share their findings in a webinar upon completion of the project. 

Sacramento Municipal Utility District ($97,000 grant): California public power utility Sacramento Municipal Utility District, with Électricité de France Innovation Lab and Omega Grid, LLC, will provide EV owners with event-based incentives to balance their environmental values and transportation needs in a way that reduces utility costs. This project aims to quantify the value that coordinated EV charging will have on distribution system investments compared with the cost and risk of operating such a program. The project will combine incentives based on observed and predicted solar generation with EV supply equipment controls and customer preferences. The project team will create a white paper including a value assessment and a description of the business model.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District ($125,000 grant): SMUD, in partnership with Grocery Outlet and the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council, will demonstrate the energy performance of a transcritical carbon dioxide refrigeration system in order to enable a reduction in the greenhouse gas footprint of the supermarket sector within its service territory. The final report will include an energy performance analysis comparing the energy use to a similar system using traditional hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant, as well as provide qualitative and quantitative data on the installation, operation, and maintenance of a CO2 transcritical system in Sacramento's Mediterranean-like climate zone.

Tacoma Power ($125,000 grant): Washington State’s Tacoma Power has teamed up with Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (PDZA), MetroParks, and NLine Energy to install a hydroelectric turbine-generator at the PDZA as a public demonstration of a saltwater pumped hydropower generator. The project will capture untapped hydroelectric potential within the existing aquarium's saltwater circulation system by placing a turbine in the aquarium's discharge pipe. The project is supported by a collaborative effort that includes local schools and organizations to create a school curriculum focused on clean, renewable hydropower generation. Tacoma Power will share the water flow and operational data, a customized curriculum designed to evaluate the operation of the hydro turbine, and all educational tools.

DEED board also approves funds for internships, scholarships

The DEED board also approved the following funds ($5,000 each):

  • Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (Energy Efficiency Services Outreach Coordinator for Retail Customer Relations)
  • Clarksville Department of Electricity (CDE Lightband Internship Summer 2019)
  • Kaukauna Utilities (Wisconsin) (Electrical Engineering Intern)     
  • Westfield Board of Public Utilities (New York) (Asset management and GIS Intern)     
  • Menasha Utilities (Wisconsin) (Solar energy educational outreach development)
  • Littleton Electric Light Department (Mass.) (Electrical Engineer Intern)
  • Ocala Electric Utility (Fla.) (Coordinator and Analyst of new recloser technology on worst performing feeder)
  • Independence Power & Light (Missouri) (Engineering Intern – A)
  • Florence Utility Commission (Wisconsin) (GIS Enhancement)
  • New Richmond Utilities (Wisconsin) (Electric Operations Intern)
  • Independence Power & Light (Engineering Intern – B)
  • Missouri River Energy Services (South Dakota) (Internship for Developing the Value of Public Power Campaign)
  • Heartland Consumers Power District (South Dakota) (Renewable Cost Calculator)       
  • Northern California Power Agency (Common Web-based Communication Platform for Joint-Action Agencies for HCI Products and Services)

Fall 2019 grant application cycle is now open

The Fall 2019 grant application cycle is now open for utility grants. The deadline to apply is August 15, 2019.

DEED members may apply for up to $125,000 in grant funding for their innovative utility projects. Grants target projects that improve utilities by increasing efficiency, reducing costs, investigating new technologies, offering new services, and improving practices to better serve customers.

For more information, view DEED's funding page, and past webinars Tips when Applying for a DEED Grant and Maximizing your DEED Membership Benefits.

Potential applications can also contact their region's DEED board director and Association staff to obtain guidance on their project ideas.

To get started and gain access to the application, email [email protected]blicPower.org.