Edison Tests Non-Fossil Resources

By Published On: November 7, 2013

Using state-preferred alternative generation, conservation, and efficiency to replace up to 25 MW a year of demand in southern Orange County left unfilled by the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s closure is the focus of a replacement pilot program. According to California Public Utilities Commission member Mike Florio, Southern California Edison’s local capacity pilot proposal aims to maximize the use of California’s “preferred” resources in meeting peak demand and offsetting other grid-constraining events. The utility’s pilot program aims “to put preferred resources front and center stage,” Florio said. This involves figuring out how to reliably increase energy efficiency, demand-response, energy storage and other environmentally preferable resources to fill in the void left by the permanent shutdown of the 2,100 MW nuclear plant and upcoming closures of once through-cooled coastal plants. “If we do this right, we can extrapolate lessons learned more broadly,” said Caroline McAndrews, Edison director of preferred resources pilot project. She noted that the utility was seeking input on its local capacity pilot program to enable the use of alternative energy resources in “new and different ways” to accommodate a changing grid with increasing levels of decentralized generation and other technologies. The pilot targets the south Orange County region served by two Edison substations, Johanna and Santiago. Vendors offering data analytics and demand-side and generation technologies for street lights, HVAC and pool pump savings pitched their products for replacement mega- and negawatts. Key to the program’s success is measuring the energy or savings produced by various preferred technologies as close to real-time as possible, McAndrews said. That requires developing a baseline and new methodologies, she added. One of the data analysis vendors, Bill Campbell, Equilibrium Capital Group managing director, insisted that measurement devices, like those tracking gallons pumped at the gas station, be “independent and unbiased.” Many vendors said that existing technology can be used to create and measure energy saved or produced. That information, be it creating by behavioral changes in residential customers or lowering building thermostats, can be tracked with different tools. Those include broadband, apps or other remote technology independent of utility “smart” meters. At this early stage, Edison has not set a minimum MW requirement for bidding into this developing preferred resources pilot. Florio urged all developers to submit their supply or demand side resource offers into Edison’s Long Term Procurement solicitation due Dec, 16, and not wait for the preferred resources pilot bid.

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