Ensuring Ag sector access to demand flexibility programs
San Luis Obispo, CA – Polaris Energy Services, California’s ag energy leader with the most automation projects and energy programs under management, announced today that it filed a brief in the California Public Utility Commission’s Emergency Reliability Rulemaking to protect the agricultural sector’s access to demand flexibility programs and to support expanded opportunities for irrigation pumping to participate in California’s energy market.
California Needs Ag to Combat the Next Heat Storm
Research by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab shows that irrigation pumping is second only to office cooling in the energy demand that can be shifted from critical hours–30 times more than residential cooling and Electric Vehicles combined. “We know from our experience and research that growers and irrigation districts can respond well to the needs of the grid,” said David Meyers, CEO of Polaris Energy Services, “but we need the Commission to address the obstacles that have limited Ag participation in the past.”
A Lot to Like in the IOU (Investor-Owned Utilities) Proposals
PG&E and SCE proposed changes to the Automated Demand Response (ADR) program that will simplify and accelerate the process of providing incentives for irrigation automation projects so that growers and irrigation districts can control their pumps remotely in response to signals from the electrical grid and during regular operations. They also proposed a new, voluntary Demand Response (DR) program for utility customers who are unable to commit in advance to load reductions but are willing to pause operations in an emergency, when conditions allow it, in exchange for compensation. PG&E also proposed an additional study of DR for the agricultural sector. Polaris supported these proposals while emphasizing that any study should allow for wide-scale deployment so that growers can substantially increase their participation in 2021 while earning full compensation for their flexibility. “We will be closely monitoring the proceeding,” said Meyers, “and ensuring that the Commission takes into account both the size of the agricultural resource and the ag sector’s unique needs in making its decisions.”
Polaris Energy Services is the leader in connecting agricultural customers with energy market incentives and revenue that automates irrigation control and provides operational visibility. The company manages a network of 400+ irrigation and water conveyance pumps–connected in the field to Polaris Pump Automation Controllers (PAC) gateways–that represent 65 MW (86,000 HP) of peak demand. Polaris’ platform is hardened, robust technology, proven over a decade of operations in remote, low-bandwidth environments. Compatibility with most sensors, apps to optimize pump scheduling for energy prices & DR events, remote pump control and network management, and integrations with CRM, Green Button, OpenADR and Irrigation Management systems provide a complete water-energy monitoring and control platform that addresses farmers’ challenges and gives utilities access to flexible load. The company’s solutions incorporate the Polaris Pump Automation Controller (PAC), Polaris Network Operations Center (NOC), myPOLARIS mobile and web app, and third-party integrations, leveraging the industry-leading Microsoft Azure cloud platform for maximum security, interoperability and scalability. For more information, visit https://polarisenergyservices.com. Visit them at World Ag Expo® Online at http://bit.ly/WAE21-PolarisEnergy.