Industry Cross-Section Develops Action Plans at PJM Demand Response Symposium

Fri May 16, 2008 2:35pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

VALLEY FORGE, Pa., May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 150 state and federal
regulators, consumer advocates, electric utilities, curtailment service
providers, technology companies and others developed action plans to increase
demand response at PJM Interconnection's Demand Response Symposium in
Baltimore, Md. earlier this week.
    Demand response is defined as reducing electricity use when demand is high
instead of producing additional electricity.
    "Demand response is an economical way to reduce the need for more
electricity supplies," said Andrew L. Ott, PJM senior vice president -
markets. "Seeing it fully realized, however, will take a great collaborative
effort of diverse stakeholders in the industry, not just PJM alone. These
stakeholders came to the table this week and defined further the work needed
to make this happen and ideas on overcoming the barriers."
    The symposium participants focused on three topic areas: data management
and automatic metering infrastructure (AMI), demand response customer
education and training, and the coordinating of demand response with
transmission planning and capacity auction processes. The topic areas were
identified in the Demand Response Roadmap that resulted from PJM's first
demand response symposium last year.
    Demand response already is a component of the capacity auction process,
Ott said. "The results of the recent annual auction for capacity show the
continuing trend of more demand resources participating. We're seeing the
equivalent amount of load being reduced that would otherwise require the
output of a 600 megawatt generating plant."
    Demand response can be achieved at the wholesale level with major energy
users such as industrial plants curtailing power use and receiving payment for
participating. At the retail level, where demand response is developing
through involvement of various state agencies and stakeholders, consumers
participate in programs to curtail use.  Programs vary but may enable
consumers to commit in advance to curtailing electricity use at certain times
or to make real-time decisions using switches on air conditioners and water
heaters that are controlled by their utilities.  Advanced metering for all
customers will expand significantly the measurement of responsiveness to price
and to grid emergencies.
    "The burning platform for demand response to happen involves a change in
the marketplace," said Ohio Public Utilities Commissioner Paul Centolella in a
kick-off panel discussion. "The rising cost of generation capacity and fuel,
the falling cost of communications and control technology, living in a carbon
constrained environment, and the parallel need for a smart grid to support a
digital economy are driving factors for demand response."
    Centolella stated that understanding customer behavior will be a barrier
in implementing demand response because the industry is largely comprised of
engineers, lawyers and accountants not people who have studied customer
behaviors.
    In addition to Centolella, other presenters were Kim Pizzingilli of the
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Alan Friefeld of the Maryland Public
Service Commission and Robert Lieberman of the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Frank Magnotti of Comverge and Wayne Harbaugh of Baltimore Gas and Electric
(BGE) also presented.
    Companies such as BGE are learning about customer behaviors through pilot
programs such as their Smart Energy Savers Program, which includes AMI, energy
conservation and dynamic pricing, and, which was presented at the symposium.
    The results of the two-day discussions will soon be posted to the PJM Web
site and provide the basis for the development of demand response in the PJM
region during the coming year.
    PJM Interconnection ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric
power system serving 51 million people in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois,
Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
PJM coordinates and directs the operation of the region's transmission grid,
which includes 6,038 substations and 56,250 miles of transmission lines;
administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional
transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve
congestion. Visit PJM at http://www.pjm.com.
SOURCE  PJM Interconnection

Paula DuPont-Kidd of PJM Interconnection, Toll Free: +1-866-PJM-NEWS
(756-6397), or +1-610-666-2200
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