Customer Service

SRP, with Enel X, begins commercial demand response program

On Jan. 29, Arizona public power utility Salt River Project in conjunction with Enel X began a demand response program for its commercial customers.

The Business Demand Response program pays companies to temporarily reduce energy use when called upon because of situations that affect the grid, including extreme summer weather, wholesale price spikes or unexpected system issues.

Salt River Project says participating businesses can earn payments without foregoing operational reliability while also helping the utility strengthen its grid and increase sustainability efforts.

Participants would receive advance notice of potential events, enabling them to prepare their facilities. The incentives are customized by company based on their plan and their ability to allow for temporary control over energy usage during times of peak summer usage.

For the initiative, Salt River Project is targeting large- and mid-size commercial customers with peak loads of at least 100 kilowatts, such as large buildings and companies engaged in manufacturing, cold storage, as well as customers not currently on interruptible price plans.

The utility says the program can also help it meet increased electricity demand during the summer months in a more sustainable manner without the need to build new power infrastructure.

“SRP is eager to build the commercial component of its demand response initiative as SRP is strategically planning to include demand response as a portion of its overall resource portfolio,” Dan Dreiling, SRP’s director of customer programs, said in a statement.

The Business Demand Response program helps support the utility’s long-term plan to meet its 2035 Sustainability Goals. In June 2019, SRP’s board of directors approved changes to the sustainability goals.

The utility’s goals include reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per megawatt-hour by 62% from 2005 levels by 2035 and by 90% by fiscal year 2050, as well as reducing CO2 emissions from its facilities by 30% and from its fleet by 30%.

The utility is also looking to reduce water use at its facilities by 45%, to achieve a lost and unaccounted for water rate of less than 5% on a 10-year rolling average, and eliminate or offset power generation groundwater use in active management areas, as well as achieve a 20% reduction in generation related water use intensity across all water types.

Enel X in North America has around 3,400 business customers, spanning more than 10,400 sites, representing approximately 4.7 GW of demand response capacity and over 20 operational behind-the-meter storage projects. The company’s intelligent DER Optimization Software is designed to analyze real-time energy and utility bill data, improve performance, and manage distributed energy assets, including behind-the-meter storage projects.