Analytics helping Oncor meet demand response challenges
Utilities are constantly looking to reduce load and understand consumption patterns, and they are increasingly turning to analytics to get the job done. Detailed data analytics can provide critical support to utilities' missions to develop successful demand response and energy-efficiency programs, according to experts at Oncor.
"It's no longer traditional utility business as usual," Donny Helm, Director of Technology Strategy and Architecture at Oncor said speaking during a recent energy-efficiency webinar hosted by Intelligent Utility. "You need to be able to use analytics to evaluate grid operations."
Although it operates solely as a transmission and distribution utility in the deregulated Texas market, Oncor remains responsible for providing nearly three million customers with reliable energy. Demand response and load reduction programs are poised to significantly cut costs and improve reliability. In fact, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has estimated that by 2019 Texas will have more than 18 GW of potential demand response savings – nearly a quarter of Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) peak load.
Like any utility, however, Oncor is challenged with making sure that demand response programs are as economical and valuable as possible.
"We have to look at each measure that we offer to make sure it's cost effective," said Jeff Reed, Senior Energy-Efficiency Program Manager, Oncor.
Reed said that analytics become essential in helping utilities determine which projects offer the most bang for the buck. Further, analytics are helping Oncor monitor the progress of demand response and load reduction programs it already has in place and which are currently offered to service providers during the peak of June through September.
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