Virginia extends grid reliability efforts with CPower 20 NOVEMBER 2017

In the US, the Commonwealth of Virginia has extended a demand response contract with demand-side management firm CPower Energy through to 2020.

CPower has operated demand response initiatives in partnership with the Virginia Division of Energy’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) over the past three years.

In 2017, the two achieved 78MW of demand response capacity in the PJM Interconnection market and saved 7MW by deploying energy efficiency programmes.

Under the extended contract, CPower Energy has been tasked with increasing demand response capacity and the number of programme participants.

Nam Nguyem, manager of DMME’s Energy Management Programme, said: “DMME works with state agencies and public localities who are willing and able to reduce electrical load when grid reliability is threatened. They can play a pivotal role in maintaining the grid.”

The initiative will help reduce energy usage and costs in k-12 schools, universities, airports and municipal buildings.

John Horton, CEO of CPower, said: “Over the past three years alone, Virginia’s demand response participation has generated more than $10 million in revenue for the state. We’re proud that we have been able to help the state come closer to meeting its sustainability goals, and support the programs that benefit Virginia’s citizens every day.”

Grid reliability in Virginia

Apart from demand response, utilities in Virginia are expanding renewable energy portfolios to meet growing energy demand at the same time reducing carbon footprints. In September, the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) partnered with Independent power producer Coronal Energy to secure its energy supply using solar energy.

The cooperative is constructing two 5MW solar plants to improve services to 36,000 members. Read more…

Energy efficiency programmes have also proved to be a measure helping energy providers improve the reliability of grid networks.

US environmental protection agency Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), has in the first quarter of 2017 issued recommendations pertaining to energy efficiency in the state of Virginia.

Through the use of energy efficiency programmes to reduce energy demand on the state’s grid networks, SELC states that utilities in Virginia can reduce the wholesale cost of their electricity thereby enhancing their customer services by providing them with affordable electricity.