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Key players in Los Alamos DR study explain program - Detailed approach to examining behavior planned

A new DR study carried out by Landis & Gyr, Toshiba and others for the Los Alamos Dept of Public Utilities in New Mexico is "exactly the incremental gain that Toshiba was looking at when they acquired Landis & Gyr" in 2011.

 
PRLog - Aug. 2, 2013 - ROCKVILLE, Md. -- A new DR study carried out by Landis & Gyr, Toshiba and others for the Los Alamos Dept of Public Utilities in New Mexico is "exactly the incremental gain that Toshiba was looking at when they acquired Landis & Gyr" in 2011, Dan Hokanson, director of MDM solutions at Landis & Gyr, told us recently. The project pairs Toshiba's huge R&D capabilities plus its strong ties to Japanese government and universities with Landis & Gyr's smart grid gear that the Japanese giant was without before the acquisition, he added.

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," he added.

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/losalamosdr) on July 30, 2013 and has been slightly edited for this format.

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SMART GRID TODAY'S MISSION is to deliver daily, unbiased, comprehensive and original reporting on emerging trends, applications and policies driving the modern utility industry -- in a signature format that features highly concise and easy-to-understand news copy based on trusted reporting, exclusive interviews, informed analysis and strategic insights that our subscribers rely on to succeed every business day. Smart Grid Today is published 247 times a year by Modern Markets Intelligence, Inc. (MMI), publisher of independent trade news for the evolving energy industry of the 21st century. It is located in Rockville, Md. Sam Spencer founded MMI in 2009 after writing, editing, marketing, publishing, running and inventing trade news publications and related products for over 20 years.

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