Virtual power plant deployed in Toronto to combat heat wave

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Lowfoot Inc. deployed its Ontario-member-based virtual power plant to provide capacity in Canada, which is currently undergoing a heat wave.

Searing hot weather in Ontario has stressed the power grid, and July 16 the hourly Ontario energy price reached a high of $158 per MWh, more than 5 times the typical level.

“We have asked our Ontario-based members to reduce their electricity usage between 5 to 8 p.m. July 17,” said Shirley Rouse, company president. “Everyone who reduces their use will receive a $1.50 per kwh PayPal payment, about $5 total per household. The electricity grid is expected to be under strain this afternoon and this is a way we can help.”

Founded in Toronto, Lowfoot Inc. provides smart-meter based customer engagement and demand response for utilities in markets across North America, according to the companies.

The virtual peaker plant works by having thousands of customers reduce their usage coincidentally to help reduce electricity usage at peak periods. Consumers who reduce are paid directly.

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