G&T co-op’s demand management system incorporates renewables

Wabash Valley Power Association, a generation and transmission cooperative (G&T) serving 23 electric ­distribution cooperatives in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, is upgrading its demand response software to include ­distributed energy management. The goal is to better ­balance energy demand peaks and valleys while incor­porating distributed renewable energy resources.

OMNETRIC Group, the Siemens and Accenture joint venture, is helping implement the upgrade that will better handle wholesale electricity costs by integrating demand management with direct control of distributed energy resources to optimize how the grid is balanced. Balancing new renewable energy sources from the sun and wind have complicated the challenges of supplying electricity. New demand management solutions will be critical to ­stabilizing the grid as more renewable energy resources generate power that may not be in sync with traditional demand peaks and valleys. The system will be completely deployed by April.

Power supply diversification is important to Wabash Valley Power and the co-op has been a leader in developing landfill gas renewable generation and now has 16 plants for a total of 53 MW. The G&T also has power purchase agreements with dairy farm biogas producers and three wind farms. This past year the Wabash Valley Power board voted to add 2.5 MW of solar energy.

Andrew Horstman, manager of load response at Wabash Valley Power said, “With OMNETRIC Group’s implemen­tation of this distributed energy management solution, we now not only better manage load across our co-op network, but can test new ways of generating power using renewable energy resources. It’s all part of ­ensuring we remain at the forefront of industry change while ­continuing to provide savings for our members.”