Alstom has been awarded a contract by Queenslandís regional energy distributor, Ergon Energy to deliver its Demand Response Management System (DRMS). The project will be managed from Alstomís offices in Sydney, with the software engineering being undertaken in Alstomís facilities in the USA. The system will go live at the end of 2015.
The DRMS, based on Alstomsí e-terraDRBizNet software allows Ergon Energy to incentivise consumers to reduce their electricity consumption during periods of high prices or peak demand. By using these incentive programmes, Ergon Energy is able to manage the electricity demand whenever the network is constrained.
In addition to managing demand, some of the key benefits of the DRMS system include the ability to defer capital investment in network infrastructure. Electricity consumers act as virtual power plants as they are compensated for voluntarily lowering their demand when the grid is constrained. Ergon Energy is able to treat this demand response capacity as a dispatchable resource that can be called upon when the need arises. Therefore, the existing infrastructure and resources can be leveraged for longer with less need for ongoing or new investment.
The e-terraDRBizNet system will be hosted remotely by Alstom in the cloud, enabling faster delivery and more efficient support and maintenance of the DRMS platform for Ergon Energy. The DRMS is an extremely cost effective solution to manage demand in comparison to the costs associated with network expansion and upgrades. Under the contract, Alstom will also conduct customer workshops and training onsite with Ergon Energy.
The installation of the DRMS for Ergon Energy will be Alstomís first DRMS in Australia, but second in the region. Transpower, New Zealandís national transmission network operator, uses Alstomís e-terraDRBizNet to manage its demand side management programs as well.