Bonneville Power Uses Analytics to Manage Demand
Among the challenges faced by electric utilities, especially during the summer cooling season, is managing peak demand while figuring out how to integrate intermittent power sources into the grid. Increasingly, big data analytics tools are being applied to the emerging smart grid as a way to gauge demand while improving grid reliability and lowering costs.
The latest example comes from the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Energy Department agency that oversees power distribution in the Pacific Northwest. AutoGrid Systems, a data analytics vendor to the energy sector, said this week that Bonneville engineers are using its demand response management tool to find new ways to anticipate peak demand and capacity.
AutoGrid (Redwood City, Calif.) said the power agency has been using the tool since February to schedule and conduct more than 20 demand response events ranging from 18 to 28 megawatts of power. The result was a savings of more than 500 megawatt-hours, the analytics company claimed. (A megawatt-hour is equivalent to 1,000 kilowatts used continuously for one hour.)
Bonneville also uses the analytics tool for a power aggregation demonstration designed to identify ways to manage and balance sudden swings in capacity and demand such as increased power from wind generation. Utilities have long been looking for ways to incorporate new energy sources into the emerging smart grid, especially solar, wind and other alternative sources.