The editors of POWERGRID International magazine and PennWell Corp. announced four winners of the magazine's annual Projects of the Year awards during the DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition keynote in San Diego.
Winners were selected in four categories: Best Energy Efficiency/Demand Response Project, Best Grid Integration of Renewables Project, Best Smart Grid Project and Best Smart Metering Project. Further details on winning projects will be featured in the April issue of POWERGRID International magazine.
Best Energy Efficiency/Demand Response Project
Gulf Power Co. won the Energy Efficiency/Demand Response Project of the Year for its Energy Select Program. Based in Pensacola, Fla., the Southern Co. subsidiary initiated the automated dynamic pricing program for residential electricity users to increase efficiency and sustainability while meeting growing demand. The program’s 10,000 participants can automate their home energy usage by programming intelligent devices through a Web portal. The devices automatically respond to the utility’s dynamic pricing signals based on settings chosen by the participants. Gulf Power expects the program will expand to 16,000 participants by 2016.
Runner-up for the 2013 Energy Efficiency/Demand Response Project of the Year is Western Power in Perth, Australia, for its demand response air conditioning trial.
Best Grid Integration of Renewables Project
Duke Energy Corp. won the Grid Integration of Renewables Project of the Year for the Rankin Energy Storage System. In 2010, Duke, S&C Electric Company and FIAMM, a producer of sodium-nickel-chloride batteries, solved a problem Duke was experiencing on distribution circuits with distributed solar generation: Passing clouds were causing solar energy output to fluctuate. In some cases, more than 80 percent of a solar unit’s output would drop in less than five seconds. FIAMM delivered 12 sodium-nickel-chloride Zebra batteries to S&C Electric Company for assembly and testing, and the system was delivered to Duke in December 2011. Duke installed the system in the Rankin Avenue Retail Substation in Mount Holly, N.C. Since then, the battery control system has been adjusted continuously to develop the most effective way to use storage for solar integration.
Runner-up for the 2013 Grid Integration of Renewables Project of the Year is Acciona Energy for implementing power management capability with advanced control and energy storage systems.
Best Smart Grid Project
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) won the Smart Grid Project of the Year for SmartSacramento, which incorporates grid modernization, customer programs and pilot projects. More than $307 million has been invested in SmartSacramento, including a $127.5 million Department of Energy smart grid infrastructure grant. The program includes more than 20 projects to modernize the grid, reduce costs, increase its electrical system’s efficiency, boost energy savings, improve reliability and introduce customers to better energy-management tools. SMUD installed more than 619,000 smart meters and has saved more than $15 million of labor charges for billing, meter reading and disconnects and reconnects. In addition, SMUD partnered with six local government agencies to install and implement building emergency management systems with automated demand response capability in more than 120 buildings.
Runner-up for the 2013 Smart Grid Project of the Year is Progress Energy Carolinas for its Virtual Generation on Grand Scale project.
Best Smart Metering Project
NV Energy won the Smart Metering Project of the Year for NVEnergize, which integrates customers with the utility through advanced technologies. NVEnergize has enabled immediate customer benefits by providing customers access to Web-based information about their usage and tools to manage their energy. More than half of NV Energy’s customers have signed up for the MyAccount portal, which includes access to AMI presentment and alerts. NVEnergize saves $35 million annually and eliminates nearly 17 million monthly manual meter reads. The integrated remote disconnect and connect switch has eliminated more than 1 million truck rolls. The utility has deployed more than 1 million electric meters and 156,000 gas modules across its service territory, encompassing more than 98 percent of Nevada’s population.
Runner-up in the 2013 Smart Metering Project of the Year category is Central Maine Power for its AMI project.