By connecting to customers’ smart thermostats via the Energy Internet, MCE will reduce customers’ energy bills through economic demand response linked to CAISO
REDWOOD CITY, Calif —October 6, 2016— AutoGrid Systems, the Energy Internet leader, announced today that MCE, a community choice electricity provider servicing about 250,000 customers throughout the Bay Area, has selected the AutoGrid Flex™ flexibility management software application suite for its pilot demand response (DR) program.
Launched on May 31, 2016, MCE’s My Energy Insight, a direct load control DR program, uses the suite’s AutoGrid Demand Response Optimization and Management System™ (DROMS™) to connect to program participants’ smart thermostats via the Energy Internet. If California Independent System Operator (CAISO) electricity market prices go above a certain threshold, AutoGrid DROMS sends a signal in real-time to participants’ smart thermostats, unobtrusively reducing their energy consumption during peak pricing periods without impacting their comfort.
Customer participation in the program is voluntary and customers can choose to leave the program at any time. Customers that participate in the program receive a free smart thermostat and a gift card.
MCE is using the pilot program to determine if it can use its customers’ smart thermostats, and – in the future – connected water heaters, electric vehicle chargers, energy storage systems and other distributed energy resources (DERs) to reduce energy procurement expenses during times of peak energy demand. MCE will also study whether the program can provide an additional revenue stream to MCE by bidding demand response capacity from the customer-owned DERs into the CAISO market. In both cases — reducing energy procurement expenses and increasing revenues by bidding capacity into the CAISO market — the program would help MCE provide clean energy to its customers at as low a price as possible. In addition, by delivering free smart thermostats and other incentives to DR program participants, MCE will seek to learn how much the program increases customer engagement and satisfaction with MCE.
“MCE is focused on providing our customers with an affordable clean energy choice that does not compromise service, reliability, or supply,” said Beckie Menten, Director of Customer Programs, MCE. “We are excited to partner with AutoGrid to deploy this innovative DR pilot program, and learn if we can provide further choice to our customers by enabling them to use their smart thermostats and other DERs to lower their energy bills.”
“MCE’s deployment of this DR pilot program using AutoGrid Flex provides further evidence that the energy industry is embracing the Energy Internet as a way to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy to their customers,” said Dr. Amit Narayan, CEO of AutoGrid. “Flexibility management is Energy Internet’s killer app, allowing utilities and energy service providers to lower costs, integrate renewables and drive deeper engagement with their customers.”
A Comprehensive, Dispatch-Grade Flexibility Management Solution
AutoGrid Flex is a comprehensive software application suite for flexibility management at the grid edge. AutoGrid Flex enables utilities and energy service providers to predict and control millions of connected DERs across the Energy Internet, allowing them to balance energy supply and demand, increase customer engagement and deliver new value-added services. AutoGrid DROMS is an application within the AutoGrid Flex suite, and is the industry’s only comprehensive, “dispatch-grade” demand response management system (DRMS), unifying all programs and assets, for all customer segments.
MCE selected AutoGrid DROMS as their DRMS solution for their pilot DR program because it:
- Supports all DR program types, all types of DERs and all customer segments, allowing MCE to manage both smart thermostats today and easily expand its DR program to new types of DERs and customers in the future.
- Provides a rich, engaging customer experience, with highly personalized programs and hassle-free enrollment and participation, increasing MCE DR program enrollment and customer satisfaction.
- Delivers dispatch-grade DR, with advanced analytics and machine learning at scale, providing MCE with reliable, accurate and highly targeted dispatch.
- Reduced deployment costs thanks to its easy configurability, flexible Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) architecture and rich APIs.
MCE is a not‐for‐profit, community‐based electricity provider that gives customers the choice of
having 50 percent to 100 percent of their electricity supplied from clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal and hydroelectricity at competitive rates. MCE’s service area includes Marin County, Napa County, and the cities of Benicia, El Cerrito, Lafayette, San Pablo, Richmond and Walnut Creek. By choosing MCE, customers help support new in‐state and local renewable energy generation. For more information about MCE, visit www.mceCleanEnergy.org.
About AutoGrid Systems
AutoGrid builds software applications that enable a smarter Energy Internet. The company’s suite of Energy Internet applications allows utilities, electricity retailers, renewable energy project developers, and energy service providers to deliver cheap, clean, and reliable energy by managing networked distributed energy resources (DERs) in real time and at scale. AutoGrid applications are all built on the AutoGrid Energy Internet Platform (EIP), with patented Predictive Controls™ technology that leverages petabytes of smart meter, sensor and third-party data, along with powerful data science and high-performance computing algorithms, to monitor, predict, optimize and control the operations of millions of assets connected across global energy networks.
The world’s leading energy companies, including E.ON, Bonneville Power Administration, Florida Power & Light Company, Southern California Edison, Eneco, Portland General Electric, CPS Energy, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, NextEra Energy, and CLEAResult are using AutoGrid’s software to improve their operations, integrate renewables, and drive deeper engagement with their customers. AutoGrid has been recognized with several prestigious industry awards including Greentech Media’s Grid Edge Award 2016, Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer 2016, World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer 2015, Red Herring Top 100 North America 2015, Industrial Innovation Company of the Year by the Cleantech Group, and Green Product of the Year by the BIG Awards for Business Programs.
Eastwick for AutoGrid