In announcing the project July 18, the group set a goal of studying how consumers respond to variable pricing per-KWH and how this impacts their power demand.
The DR study will be funded partly by the Japanese government's New Energy & Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and carried out with research help from Kyoto University. It will divide Los Alamos customers into four groups to look at participation in DR programs, Hokanson said. There will be a control group, one opting into critical peak pricing (CPP), one opting out of CPP and one group using peak-time rebates.
Though there are some 850 participants enrolled in the project now, the goal is to reach 1,600, meaning 400/group, he added.
The project consists of two phases to study consumer behavior in two distinct seasons: July-September and November-January. NEDO will in December host a workshop in New Mexico to share results from the first phase of the study, Kenichi Suzuki, deputy director of the Smart Community Dept at NEDO's Energy & Environment Center, told us.
Toshiba and Landis & Gyr are supplying the lion's share of the technology for the project, Hokanson said. Toshiba products will handle the load forecasting after DR events while Landis & Gyr's Gridstream MDMS will process that data at the smart meter, also made by the Swiss firm.
A web application and in-home display monitors, both made by Landis & Gyr, will tell customers of upcoming DR events and measure their responses to these events, he added. Kyoto University will help process the data and publish the results.
The DR research is part of the $52 million US-Japan Smart Grid Demonstration Project that got under way in Los Alamos last year. About 7% of that funding -- $3.64 million -- will go toward the new DR study, Suzuki said.
Though it is too early to say how widely applicable the results of the project will be, Landis & Gyr expects utilities to be watching for ways to apply them, Hokanson said. Los Alamos' summer peaking and air conditioning programs are common among utilities, he reminded.
US compared to Japan
Kyoto University will compare the results from the Los Alamos DR study to a study of energy-consumer behavior in Japan looking for cross-cultural consistency in the findings, he said. Toshiba has a " very longstanding relationship with that university,"
Toshiba acquired Landis & Gyr in 2011 for about $2.3 billion, declaring its intent to become a "global leader in the smart-community business by 2020."
Perhaps the most expansive work Landis & Gyr has signed up for since the acquisition was a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) plan to install up to 27 million smart meters in its service area. TEPCO in May picked Toshiba to supply the communications systems for the work and Landis & Gyr will provide a lot of that gear including a head-end system, an MDMS and RF communication modules.
Landis & Gyr will deliver the MDMS to TEPCO by Q1 of next year, at which point, testing of the technology will start, Hokanson told us.
This story was originally published in Smart Grid Today (smartgridtoday.com/
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