Not all peak curtailment notifications are the same. Knowing what to look for is critical to hit the Top 5 peaks with minimal curtailments.
The ICI program allows large industrial, commercial and agricultural facilities to reduce their electricity costs by managing demand during the Top 5 peaks. Since its launch in 2010, the program has grown, evolved and changed dramatically. It has expanded from 200 participants in 2013 to over 2,300 customers in 2019.
ICI success depends on two factors: knowing when to curtail and knowing what to curtail. Curtailing correctly reduces facility demand during Coincident Peaks and reduces the GA cost. To learn more about the ICI check out our explanation here.
Initially, only those with 5MW+ average peak demand could participate in ICI. This small group of ultra-large facilities used the IESO Power Data site and a handful of legacy energy dashboards to analyze the Coincident Peaks. With the growth of the ICI program, more sophisticated tools are required. In our blog post “Why IESO Power Data Isn’t Enough”, we outlined why a peak prediction service provider is required to improve your performance in ‘hitting the peaks’. But not all peak prediction providers are equal.
When considering the performance of peak providers, the number of Curtailment Calls is not everything.
Understanding the difference in how and when curtailment notifications are sent is crucial in making the right decision for your Class A facility.
Imagine you’ve prepared for a curtailment, made staffing changes for the day, dealt with the changes to production and logistics and are ready to curtail at 4pm. All of a sudden an alert comes in asking you to change it to 3pm. This is exactly what happens with many peak prediction service providers. When considering performance, the number of Curtailment Calls is not everything. Some peak prediction providers change their calls throughout the day or have multiple calls in one day. Others may call a peak alert 5 to 10 minutes before action is required. Others will change the window of curtailment throughout the day. Having a clear, accurate alert is key to successful participation.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Peak Prediction Provider:
1. Independent Modelling
Many peak predictions use the IESO as the basis of their calls. Setting a static threshold and sending alerts based on what the IESO predicts. The IESO’s power projections have a large impact on when curtailments happen so depending on their modelling can be inaccurate, especially during the Coincident Peak hour. Accurate peak predictions only come from Independent Demand modelling of the Ontario grid.
2. Curtailment Notice Timing
Receiving an alert well ahead of time allows you to plan curtailments effectively. Staffing or operational changes take time. Depending on how you achieve curtailment, having enough time to react can be crucial. Certain peak prediction providers ask you to curtail for 5 or more hours or may change the window multiple times. Others may call multiple peaks in one day, wreaking havoc on production and staffing plans.
Staffing or operational changes take time.
3. Curtailment Window Length, and Multiple Alerts
Peak days are dynamic and the Ontario demand can change in the span of minutes due to Embedded Generation and thunderstorms. This is why having clarity and precision on peaks is so challenging. Peak prediction providers who do not have the ability to pinpoint peaks ahead of time, can change their predictions multiple times throughout the day. Although this makes it easier to call peaks, it makes it more challenging to curtail as you need to be ready multiple times a day to change operations.
How pTrack™, Edgecom Energy’s Peak Prediction Service Does it:
pTrack™ provides you with two types of alerts. For facilities where a long ‘heads-up’ is required, the confirmed curtailment notice comes 4 hours or more before a potential peak – giving you enough time to react. The curtailment window, or length of curtailment, will always be 3 to 4 hours or less. Learn more about the full service here.
For operations where a long heads-up is not required, the pTrack™ Portal is updated every 5 minutes. Once an alert is received you can be on standby and act according to the portal only. Additionally., REST APIs allow your curtailment to be automated and dispatched directly by our Network Operation Center.
By sending confirmed notifications and not repeatedly changing curtailment hours throughout the day, Edgecom Energy simplifies your curtailments and allows you to reduce Global Adjustment costs with less headaches.