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DEED-funded projects include peak load notification pilot, storage tools

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The board of directors for the American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments, or DEED, program has approved funding that will allow Association members to pursue a wide variety of research projects such as a peak load notification pilot and a project aimed at providing tools for understanding and integrating energy storage. The total funding amount approved by the DEED board for the Fall 2017 cycle was $771,745.00.

Details on the projects are as follows:

Fort Collins Utilities: Colorado’s Fort Collins Utilities has a coincident peak rate structure for large commercial customers. In order to help customers’ save on their bills, the utility currently attempts to communicate to customers about predicted coincident peak hours through various means including email and a website. These methods have had limited success due to inflexible communication channels and insufficient end user training. The utility’s peak load notification pilot project directly addresses these two challenges using new technological tools and educational outreach.

WPPI Energy: The purpose of this DEED-funded project is to answer two questions: (1) How can rural public power utilities design economically feasible community solar programs with a
high proportion of low-to-moderate household participants? (2) How can no/low cost demand-side energy efficiency strategies be integrated in community solar programs to increase the benefit of community solar for LMI households? WPPI Energy, a not-for-profit, regional power company based in Wisconsin.

New York Power Authority: While battery energy storage systems can offer several benefits that include the ability to shift loads and reduce peak demand and provide voltage regulation, utilities are unfamiliar with the many storage technologies. The goal of this project, “Analytics Using StorageVET,” is to provide the tools for understanding and integrating storage.

Burbank Water and Power: California public power utility Burbank Water and Power will test the efficacy of installing Level 1 EV charging infrastructure at workplace parking lots in Burbank. BWP will install, at the utility’s own expense, the necessary infrastructure, including risers, conduit, wires,
meters, and EV supply equipment, on the participating customers’ property, specifically where their
employees park their vehicles during the daytime. The customer will own and maintain the electric service and will pay for the electricity, as measured by the dedicated BWP meter. Through the use of a dedicated meter for electrified transportation, BWP will be able to test the use of innovative rate structures, including super off-peak rates, compared to the standard rates. A separate BWP project approved by the DEED board relates to an effort to selectively upgrade an existing 11,500 fleet services building. This project will replace an existing evaporative cooling system with a new, high-volume indirect evaporative cooling system.

Moorhead Public Service: Minnesota’s Moorhead Public Service is initiating a new strategy that is in line with the Association’s Public Power Forward strategic initiative by working with a local business, Terra Labs, and piloting a community geothermal system for Moorhead’s downtown revitalization project. This is an “Efficient Electrification” strategy to reduce CO2 emission levels, collect load data and increase the electrical load. The public power utility is looking at the possibility of implementing a new and innovative utility service that makes it affordable for customers to install ground source heat pumps, which bring significant savings and high satisfaction. Moorhead Public Service will own, maintain, and operate the community geothermal system, while the customer will own, maintain and operate
the system inside of the buildings.

Massena Electric Department: New York-based Massena Electric Department’s project will create a database that will track assets of the utility and the preventative maintenance routines and corrective maintenance associated with those assets. These operational assets will be broken down into three categories: substations, vehicles and building facilities. Work orders will be generated by the system to alert management of upcoming preventative maintenance or preventative maintenance activities that are overdue. Corrective maintenance activities and capital projects will be entered as work orders to track new assets are added.

Cuyahoga Falls Electric System: The Ohio-based public power utility’s project involves installing 384 SEL fault and load transmitters on 37 distribution feeders and installing two SEL fault and load receivers in the utility’s supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) room in order to read fault and load information from the field and have it displayed on the SCADA system without the need to run wires to the transmitters. One of the key purposes of the project is for the utility to better understand load flow on feeders and to quickly narrow down where a fault is located by looking at SCADA.

Tillamook People's Utility District: The DEED board approved two projects. The first project involves reaching remote equipment for SCADA communications. The Oregon public power utility’s project will deploy three different wireless radio systems and determine which conditions are best suited for each type of system. The project will include a test feeder that represents the different typologies found in the utility’s service territory. Locations of the reclosers, proposed fault indicators, padmount switchgear and the voltage regulator have been identified. The utility expects to use a combination of systems due to the various conditions and terrain in its service territory of Tillamook County. The goal is to achieve a balance of bandwidth, latency, and reliability. A second project approved by the DEED board calls for Tillamook to model and simulate various combinations of transformers, system configurations, and loading to determine factors that could indicate a high potential of ferroresonance.

River Falls Municipal Utilities: The DEED board approved a project submitted by Wisconsin-based River Falls Municipal Utilities that involves an outreach program sponsored by the utility and others that invites area landlords to participate in quarterly, free of charge seminars that provide discussion topics of interest for these customers. For the past three years, participants have learned of energy efficiency options pertaining directly to multifamily and rental units, to better protect themselves through lease agreements, and to work more effectively with utility, city, and state agencies.

DEED board approves funding tied to DSTAR program

The DEED board also approved funding for DSTAR reports. DSTAR is a consortium of electric distribution utilities and utility organizations that collaboratively sponsor near-term, pragmatic distribution research and development.

Since the reports were completed before APPA's DEED program joined, the DSTAR bylaws provide a path by which current DSTAR members may obtain these older reports using a prescribed fee structure. The purpose of the grant application was to purchase eight reports deemed valuable by APPA members and share them to benefit the full DEED membership.

Additional information about the DEED program is available here.

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