Author David Paradis

David Paradis


Currently a senior energy engineer for CPower, David Paradis has worked with and for several well-known organizations in his career including, Johnson Controls, Microcom/Lockheed Martin, Mercedes Benz, Federal Express, and many more. He spends his free time teaching and watching his children grow.

Choose Your Own Curtailment Adventure: “School’s in Session”

By David Paradis | September 02, 2016

You’re a facilities manager in the public school system. Your district of twelve schools participates in demand response programs annually. Each year, you alternate the six schools that hold summer classes, which presents you with a unique opportunity to earn money through demand response.

What do you do?

1) You register the six schools that are NOT being used for summer classes in demand response programs.

This strategy insures a guaranteed load drop, since these six campuses are not being used during the summer months when demand response events are likely to be called. This course also insures that no one will be inconvenienced since the faculty, staff, and students will be spread among the other six campuses.

Since peak load contributions (PLC) are calculated during the previous year, you’re all but assured of having a PLC near zero provided you continue to alternate the six schools used for summer classes year after year.

It’s easy money for the school district. And why not? When was the last time the power company had to hold a bake sale to raise money for the things they need but can’t afford?

Click HERE to choose the ‘Easy Money for Education’ adventure and find out what happens next.

2)  You talk to your curtailment service provider (CSP) and devise a curtailment strategy that incorporates the campuses you are using.

While potentially more of an inconvenience for staff and students (and potentially less money earned from demand response) you realize that the purpose of curtailment programs is not to game the system. Demand response exists to alleviate grid stress by reducing load when the demand for electricity outpaces supply.

Click HERE to choose the ‘Do the Right Thing’ adventure and find out what happens next.

Choose Your Own Curtailment Adventure: “A Hospital’s Dilemma”

By David Paradis | July 28, 2016

You’re a facilities manager at a city hospital in the PJM market, who’s always looking to offset costs by streamlining how you use energy.

You have a basic understanding of how PJM calculates baselines so you decide to take advantage of PJM’s Economic Demand Response (DR) program, which pays businesses to curtail their loads when electricity prices are especially high.

Your hospital’s energy load fluctuates naturally throughout the day, which you believe can lead to your organization getting paid as long as the times when your load is down coincide with the times when electricity prices are high in PJM.

What do you do?

1)
You can let the system work for you.

You access the bidding features in your curtailment service provider’s (CSP) energy management software, where you can bid into the PJM market through the RTO’s economic program. Next you check off the same four hours of participation in the economic program for every weekday.

You see your strategy as a win for your hospital. Your load naturally drops each day and you’ve selected the same four hour window to bid into the economic program. You’re bound to get lucky a few times each week when your decreased load aligns with PJM’s high prices.

You figure your hospital has to pay the price when its load is high. Why not get paid when its load is down?

Of course, you realize there will likely be times when your load and PJM’s prices do not align. In these cases, your CSP simply won’t settle your bid since there is no value in the transaction.

An easy win if your strategy pans out. No harm, no foul if it doesn’t.

Click HERE to choose the ‘Let-the-System-Do-the-Work’ adventure and find out what happens next.

Or

2)
You can develop and implement a defined curtailment strategy and bid into the market.

You first make careful notes on how and when your load naturally fluctuates. Then you work with your CSP to identify where and when your hospital may be able to curtail more energy if needed. The collaboration yields a sound curtailment strategy.

Next you access the bidding features in your CSP’s energy management software, where you can bid into the PJM market through the RTO’s economic program.

You check off the specific hours for participation in the economic program that coincide with the times when you know your hospital’s load will be low, either naturally or through curtailment.

This strategy is more work on your part, but it also puts you in more control of your load schedule and related bids into the PJM markets.

Click HERE to choose the ‘More-Work-More-Control’ adventure and find out what happens next.