NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW 4 UTILITIES ARE USING BIG DATA

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Best Movies About Climate Change
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Saudis Move Ahead On $30Bil New Energy Buy
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-China Wind Awaits China Demand
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-India Solar Rising
  • THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, January 19:

  • TTTA Thursday-The Heat Stayed On In 2016
  • TTTA Thursday-Three Ways Solar Will Grow
  • TTTA Thursday-North Carolina Ocean Wind Bidding To Open
  • TTTA Thursday-Plugs Could Change The Future of Cars Completely
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: 4 Drivers Of Solar Growth Everybody Needs To Know
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Maryland RPS And The National Divide On Clean Energy
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Why California Wants Western Electricity Delivery Organized
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Who In Clean Tech Is Boosting New Energy
  • QUICK NEWS, January 17: New Energy’s Fight Against Climate Change Won’t Be Done; New Energy Jobs Leapt Again Last Year; Nebraska Gets Wind Power Economy Bump
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: A Call To Climate Action From Al Gore
  • Weekend Video: A Closer Look At Wind And Solar
  • Weekend Video: Why Solar Beats Coal
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Does Climate Change Make Nuclear A Good Idea?
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Who In The World Is Winning With Solar?
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Wind Powers Scotland Four Straight Days
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Will China Bust Open The Global EV Market?
  • --------------------------

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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

    -------------------

    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

    -------------------

    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • WEEKEND VIDEOS, January 21-22:

  • Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Sequel”
  • Al Gore Talks About His “Inconvenient Sequel”
  • 2016 Was Third Record Heat Year In A Row

    Friday, December 12, 2014

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW 4 UTILITIES ARE USING BIG DATA

    How 4 utilities are using big data; AEP, Vattenfall, Austin Energy and City of Palo Alto Utilities show that no-one-size-fits-all.

    Herman K. Trabish: August 5, 2014 (Utility Dive)

    Utilities and grid operators are turning to experts to handle the big data they are gathering.

    Use of data about their systems and their customers varies widely. While it can inform transactive energy services that will ultimately mimic an electricity market at the customer level, more often today it is about simply reporting peak load event information to customers via email.

    There are three areas where utilities are working to build big data operations, according to ABB Smart Grids VP Gary Rackliffe.

    ABB’s acquisition of Ventyx and its business intelligence software, which is used by over 50 utilities, solidified its standing among other smart technology leaders like GE, Siemens, and Alstom.

    Currently, Rackliffe said, ABB is working to:

    improve distribution grid management, particularly around storm restoration,

    improve system health management by precisely assessing risks of asset failure, and

    manage distributed energy resources integration into transmission and distribution systems.

    “There are five Vs in big data,” Rackliffe said. “Volume, how much data. Variety, the types of data. Velocity, the rate the data comes in. Veracity, the accuracy of the data. And value, the usefulness of the data.”

    Storm response and asset health

    In the first application, ABB is assimilating storm data. “We data mine information on past storms to predict how the system will be impacted and to estimate restoration times,” Rackliffe said. Based on that situational awareness, ABB can “predict the type of equipment inventory and crew resources that will be needed to handle grid restoration.”

    In the second application, American Electric Power (AEP) is now rolling out the ABB-Ventyx Asset Health Center. With over half its transformers more than 50 years old, AEP is integrating its system data with ABB’s operations technology/information technology (OT/IT) capabilities, Ventyx's business intelligence and layered-in analytic algorithms to manage its 40,000-mile, 11-state, 5-million-customer grid.

    “Our customers want to drive down the total risk of failure and get better performance with the same number of people or get the same performance with fewer people,” Rackliffe said. “And there is a big wave of concern now about being able to manage aging infrastructure.”

    Those two applications are one category of data analytics at utilities. Consumer analytics is the second and it includes demand response (DR).

    Transactive energy and demand response

    Meter data and other data on customer behavior is used “to tease out consumer preferences and understand how different DR programs like peak-pricing or time-of-use rates or [electric vehicle] charging will affect demand,” Rackliffe explained.

    ABB is working with European utility giant Vattenfall in Gotland, Germany, on a project targeting a 10% load shift at 2,000 homes and 30 commercial facilities. It will use Ventyx’s Demand Response Management System (DRMS) to manage a consumer marketplace with the full range of transactive energy services, including wind, solar PV, energy storage, EV charging, and tiered pricing, Rackliffe said. “Predicting customer responses is where data analytics is going.”

    Like the Opower-BGE pilot in Baltimore, Austin Energy and City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) have also been using data analysis, though on a smaller scale, to study consumers’ reactions to DR.

    An Austin Energy demonstration program, funded by a Department of Energy ARPA-E grant, tested how AutoGrid’s Demand Response Optimization and Management System (DROMS) could be used to reduce peak load. The utility used the single platform to control 60 thermostats from two different manufacturers’ and 15 electric vehicle chargers from a third manufacturer, all at dispersed customer locations, explained Austin Energy Consulting Engineer Russell Shaver.

    Over about a dozen peak demand periods in June and September of 2013, the AutoGrid software was able to adjust the thermostats’ temperatures up four degrees and turn off the car chargers for about two hours. The platform also allowed EV owners to turn their chargers back on via email and allowed customers to push a button on the thermostat if they chose to opt out of the event.

    Austin Energy had no experience with other data analytics vendors but was impressed with what AutoGrid could do. “When we have a DR event, we have to go into each different online portal provided by each of our thermostat manufacturers to issue a DR signal,” Shaver said. “We want a centralized DR portal like the one built by AutoGrid so we only have to issue that signal once.”

    The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) has been running “a very small [demand response] pilot” with seven or eight large commercial customers for four years, said Senior Resource Planner Karla Dailey. “During a May 14 event, the only one this year, we were able to reduce the load 5,653 kilowatts.”

    CPAU used AutoGrid to communicate the event to its customers, to do the back end analytics and to report savings to its customers, Dailey said. It has not tested AutoGrid’s claims to be able to manage petabytes of data.

    Dailey sets up the parameters of the anticipated event and participants are emailed. “AutoGrid is a communication tool for us,” Dailey said. “We don’t make demand reduction happen. The capability is there but we are not there.”

    Demand response has a lot of potential but it is utility specific and depends on the customer profile, the local climate, and on costs. “There is no one-size-fits-all for DR programs,” Dailey said. “All we are trying to do is shave our summer peak. But there are lots of other things a utility can do with DR and we are going to be looking at all of them.”

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