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Powerit Solutions provided our business with a system that controls our electrical demand very well and they were able to meet our tight delivery requirements at a competitive cost.

Doug Smith
Project Engineer
Rochester Metal Products

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Apr 17, 2015

When:    April 21-23, 2015

Where:   Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, OH

Website:  http://www.afsinc.org/news/MCCLanding.cfm?ItemNumber=15212&navItemNumber=8697

Managing a facility’s electrical demand can be an effective way to control energy costs.  Some foundries have found that to be most effective, such control must involve automation that enables the facility to intelligently regulate its energy use. The automation system, whether it’s furnace management software, a programmed PLC or a facility wide energy management system, must provide assurances that the facility’s loads are controlled properly and safely, and production throughput isn’t impacted.  This same strategy can also be used to participate in emerging utility Demand Response (DR) programs.  Join Powerit Solutions at booth 933 to learn more about these energy management strategies using our Spara DM® and about what we've done for companies like Cannon-Muskegon and Donsco.

Apr 7, 2015

Blog Images-EcoSystemDemand response management system providers and DR aggregators (also known as curtailment service providers) are essential elements of the smart grid ecosystem, providing utilities and ISOs with the software and services they need to run DR programs. They can’t help their customers maximize DR participation, however, unless they add advanced demand management capabilities that reach into building systems and shop floors.

Companies in this space—which include Siemens, ABB, Schneider Electric, GE Energy, Honeywell, Constellation, Johnson Controls and EnerNOC—in some cases provide an automation signal at commercial and industrial facilities, and may even offer residential DR automation. Their natural next step is driving automation deeper into commercial and industrial facilities, providing intelligence at the load level for DR 2.0 programs and peak demand management. 

Apr 2, 2015

Headshots-Kevin KlustnerI recently read a provocative story about entrepreneur Elon Musk and Tesla, his premium electric vehicle company. Apparently, Tesla will be producing a stationary battery for powering homes in the next few months, because, in the words of a Tesla executive, the market for stationary batteries “can scale faster than automotive.”  

There’s already a solar pilot project up and running in California with 500 homes using Tesla’s 10-kilowatt-hour battery packs; these batteries can power homes for about two days in the event of an outage. And Tesla batteries are being installed on certain commercial buildings like Walmart stores.

Mar 30, 2015

Charts/Graphs-Demand Response Powerit smallUpcoming changes in California’s demand response market have the potential to dramatically increase the range and value of DR opportunities for aggregators as well as commercial and industrial businesses operating in the state.

At its March 26 meeting, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a decision setting technology budgets and simplification goals that should enable direct participation in the state’s wholesale DR programs. (Currently, aggregators, businesses, and individuals can participate only through utility programs.) This could greatly expand the opportunity for aggregators to bundle DR resources. (See this recent Greentech Media article for a detailed description of the anticipated changes.)

Meanwhile, the Demand Response Auction Mechanism, scheduled to debut with a pilot auction late this year, will mimic mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM’s capacity auctions. The DRAM will use an open bidding process to enable utilities to secure enough DR resources to meet their resource adequacy requirements for peak demand. A follow-on auction in 2016 is expected to also seek flexible capacity that can balance solar variability on the state’s grid.

Mar 26, 2015

Masthead Images-Resource Library BoardThe grid is still safe, but its reliability, effectiveness and affordability are increasingly being questioned, thanks to natural disasters and the growing popularity of distributed sources of renewable power.

This problem – and the solutions being implemented by forward-thinking utilities – is really well analyzed by Brian Warshay, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in the current issue of Foreign Affairs.

“Utilities,” writes Warshay, “are investing in a smarter grid that will provide unprecedented insight into electricity distribution and consumption. The resulting technological improvements will enable grid operators to better manage the rise of renewable power, resulting in a cleaner, cheaper, more reliable grid than Edison and Westinghouse could have ever imagined.”

Mar 25, 2015

Blog Images-EcoSystemIndustrial automation, equipment and building management system vendors could be a key part of the smart grid ecosystem—they have an opportunity to build smart grid connectivity into their products, enabling customers to adopt money-saving demand management strategies that reduce both electricity expenses and the cost of technology ownership. The missing piece for these vendors is standard integration with smart grid signaling and advanced demand management software.

Equipment vendors such as furnace makers and refrigeration equipment and controls suppliers have been battling for years to make processes and equipment ever more efficient (drive down the kWh). They’ve now reached the point of vying for half-percent advantages. The next frontier is demand efficiency—focusing on using kW optimally. The companies that are first to market with this capability will enable their customers to reduce costs by incorporating utility rate schedules into production planning and participating in fast DR events. 

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