Jake Nixon, Mission’s director of operations, support, and process improvement, was intrigued by the prospect of low- to no-risk payments from Southern California Edison’s demand response (DR) program, but soon found that participation wasn’t practical without automation.
“I was certain we could control the necessary actions manually—until we actually tried it,” he recalls. “It took too much time and we couldn’t fine-tune adjustments. Since we weren’t willing to risk production, we had to find a better solution.”
At the same time, Nixon was looking to reduce Mission’s electrical usage and its energy bills—one of the company’s biggest expenses. The ideal solution would be repeatable at other existing facilities and a new one coming online. (Mission now has operations in the Seattle area, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, New Jersey, Toronto, Mexico, and Peru,and expects to have 11 facilities working in 2014.) It also would give Nixon and his team at the Oxnard headquarters the ability to remotely see and troubleshoot equipment operations in these far-flung facilities, which don’t have on-site technical staff.