Comverge, Inc., a clean capacity provider through demand response and energy efficiency, recently announced the successful results of its demand response programs at the University of Maryland-Baltimore (UMB)—with an electricity load reduction of more than 20 million kWh in two years. That is enough energy to power approximately two million homes with electricity for two months.
UMB enrolled in Comverge’s Real Time Economic Load Response Program and Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) Program in 2006, and has received assistance from Comverge’s energy analysts, obtained load profiling and IT support, and participated in consumption analytics/graphics and other conservation initiatives. In addition to the many graphical tools that enabled UMB’s success in the PJM DR programs, Comverge can provide energy audits to measure where energy could be saved, complete on site assessments, and is providing metering and system integration and assistance with 24/7 technical and operations support from its Integration & Command Center (ICC) IT Support Group.
“Serving as our Curtailment Service Provider (CSP) or broker in the PJM Demand Response Programs, Comverge became a facilitator for reducing our peak demand and overall consumption, which ultimately contributed to reducing our carbon footprint and emission levels,” said Michael Krone, utility operations manager for UMB. “Comverge provided the resources to monitor real time market pricing, developed load profiles, and created customer baselines, and as a result, Comverge’s graphical tools have been invaluable to our success in the PJM Demand Response Programs.”
UMB began working with Comverge and PJM (Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland), the Regional Transmission Organization, two years ago to reduce energy consumption on campus and find cost effective ways to save energy and expenses. They also received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to develop additional energy efficiency programs.
Some examples of the strategies that UMB and Comverge are implementing for participation in the FERC sponsored PJM demand response programs include:
- Use of an existing 20,000 ton hour/2,000 ton output thermal storage system to shift air conditioning load from daytime on peak operation to night time off peak operation
- remotely controlling all “public area” lighting and turning off all non essential lighting loads during periods of high demand
- putting a portion of the campus chilled water production on a “current limiting” mode for short 30 minute periods.
Comverge works closely with UMB’s facilities managers to keep them up to date on energy market prices, new energy conservation opportunities, and assist with technical support.
“The University of Maryland is a great example of what just one campus can do to reduce their energy load and lessen their carbon impact,” said George Hunt, Comverge’s senior vice president of the Enerwise Group. “You would expect an institution of higher learning to do just that, and the university should be commended for its innovation and forward thinking, especially at a time when we need it most.”