Electrotek wins contract to evaluate DG aggregation by rural cooperatives for reducing electricity costs

Edison, N.J., January 9, 2002 — Electrotek Concepts has been awarded a contract by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Cooperative Research Network (CRN) to study the feasibility of aggregation and dispatch of customer or third-party owned on-site generation installed primarily for backup power.

The contract relies on the expertise demonstrated by Electrotek on recent distributed generation projects, including the development of monitoring, control and communication technologies to implement DG aggregation and dispatch for the New York State Independent System Operator.

To date, Electrotek has aggregated more than 25 megawatts of backup generation using its web-based Signature System technology. The CRN project centers on the development of a methodology and case studies of the feasibility of aggregating customer or third-party owned generation to supply peaking, reserve or load management capability to the local utility.

Studies performed by Electrotek in Delaware, Maryland and New York showed the capability of backup generation in rural areas to supply more than ten percent of peak demand. The CRN project is unique in two key aspects.

First, the study will identify those factors unique to electric cooperatives. Second, the study recognizes the interests of national chains with backup generation operating in multiple utility service territories.

J. Charles Smith, President of Electrotek, said, “Distributed generation represents an opportunity to enhance the reliability of the power supply system while lowering the cost of electricity, but that potential is now constrained by numerous technical, financial and management issues. This project will develop a simple methodology for cooperatives to determine the feasibility of a simple, Internet-based system for dispatching multiple distributed generators, the best business arrangements for implementing such a project, and the costs and benefits available to them. It represents an important step forward for cooperatives to determine the most cost-effective approach for aggregating available electric supply from existing DG units and enhancing the reliability of their electric supply systems.”

The methodology developed under the contract will be applicable to cooperatives located in all states, including those that have developed active competitive wholesale markets. In most areas, there are many small generators that can be aggregated. The methodology will enable a cooperative to determine the most cost-effective approach for aggregating, controlling and communicating with the generators.

Most important, the methodology will enable the cooperative to determine whether the value of the existing backup generators will be increased and the cost of electricity will decrease with aggregation.

Specializing in utility and industrial power systems engineering, power quality management, renewable energy, and distributed generation, Electrotek Concepts is a division of WPT Inc.

WPT, headquartered in Edison. N.J., is comprised of Electrotek Concepts, Dranetz-BMI and Daytronic Corporation, three companies in the field of power quality and data acquisition instrumentation and management

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