Isaac Wainstein and Ryan Bossis, ERS, for Zondits
Con Edison has launched a nationally recognized program to use energy efficiency and customer-sited distributed energy resources to reduce a forecasted overload on its Brownsville substations. Current projections indicate that by 2018, on a peak summer evening, demand will exceed the substation capacity by up to 52 MW (Figure below). The challenge is unique, with the demand reduction need accounting for roughly 7% of the substations’ total capability. Additionally, the peak is during the hour between 9 and 10 p.m., much later than the traditional NY ISO’s grid peak of 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and also much longer, with reductions needed throughout a 12-hour span.
M&V must provide insights to help answer the questions that define a successful program: How can I defend program reductions to resource planners who are worried about blackouts? How can I pick the right programs to achieve the reduction at the specific hours of need? How can I implement my program effectively to ensure that energy efficiency is truly the most cost-effective resource? EDGE M&V for BQDM seeks to answer these questions and improve M&V practices by leveraging existing and new granular data from M&V.
Defending Energy Efficiency as a Resource
When moving from an energy-based (kWh) efficiency program to efficiency as a resource, a new level of accountability is required that must meet the standards of review of new stakeholders, such as transmission and distribution (T&D) planners. The program demand reductions must be at least as certain as that of building the new infrastructure. However, with traditional M&V practices the amount of metering and inspection required would be time-consuming and cumbersome. Rather, M&V must look to provide more comprehensive higher-value results through increased granularity and timeliness from its predecessor. EDGE M&V for BQDM is leveraging increasingly granular data and predictive analytics to provide highly accurate, real-time M&V results without the need for large field M&V efforts for each new solution.
Immediate and Dynamic Results
Traditional M&V requires waiting for field data collection to be completed, with results delivered months or even years after the conclusion of the period of interest. For the purpose of the BQDM program, this is simply unacceptable because the program needs to understand in real time if goals are being met, so that if they are not, contingency plans can be developed. EDGE M&V for BQDM utilizes predictive analytics to verify savings as, or even before, projects are installed.
Planning and Forecasting with Energy Efficiency
Through the collection of granular data, hourly program demand reductions can be predicted as projects are installed. These high-accuracy predictions are then verified with the use of small targeted samples to confirm performance. Program managers can view with ease exactly how each component within their program is performing against ongoing goals. The data collected through ongoing BQDM M&V efforts is aggregated and fed back into the planning and forecasting process, allowing for a better understating of how future programs will impact the grid and help resource planners successfully meet their demand reduction goals.
Optimizing the Most Cost-Effective Resources
With deep understanding of the hourly performance, potential achievable reduction, and delivery costs for each program, the optimum program goals can be set to minimize costs and maximize demand reductions during the desired period. For BQDM, this insight allows program planners to determine the MW targets needed for each program to meet the remaining demand reduction targets, along with the estimated implementation cost.
Results of EDGE M&V are currently provided in a web-based dashboard for planners, program managers, and other stakeholders to take action. It is our vision that with real-time granular data in a dashboard format, stakeholders will have the insights needed to successfully plan, implement, optimize, and verify the demand reduction achieved in the BQDM territory and beyond.
Please continue to visit Zondits over the coming weeks and months as we explore the many aspects of EDGE M&V, and examine specific project examples that have taken advantage of these latest approaches.