Comverge, Inc. has installed a cumulative 150 MW of emergency peaking capacity under its Virtual Peaking Capacity (VPC) banner, marking a milestone for the company. Comverge expects to add at least 100 MW to its current capacity in 2006. Comverge currently has contracts in place in California, Utah and New England to provide over 225 MW of peak load capacity in these fullyoutsourced programs. This pay-for-performance business model has drawn national interest from utilities as an approach to defer generation and transmission expenditures and enhance grid reliability.
This milestone reflects the growing market vision of Demand Response as a meaningful asset in any electric utility's portfolio. This resource has the proven capability to respond in under 60 seconds and provides verifiable Demand Response that can be used for a variety of system operation situations - from emergencies to daily operations. The resources under the VPC offering were called more than a dozen times during the summer of 2005 with flawless execution and performance. When the Comverge VPC system was called for system emergency in southwestern Connecticut on July 27, the automated response systems of Comverge performed at 125% of expectation.
In its efforts to reduce Federally Mandated Congestion Charges, the Connecticut Department of Public Utilities noted the importance of the Comverge program. In Docket Number 05-07- 14PH01, the Department stated "the Comverge program demonstrates that the aggregation of small loads (i.e., residential) is a significant load management strategy, one that can provide a significant load response resource. Therefore, the Department believes that direct load control strategies should be pursued by the distribution companies among all customer classes. A residential offer will also serve to educate this customer class regarding peak system demands."
Under the current agreements, Comverge is responsible for implementing the entire program, including market research, participant recruitment, installation, maintenance, and call center operations, thereby allowing the utility to reap the benefits of a peak load management program without taking on any of these associated risks.
"Our VPC business model has proven to be a highly economical and effective solution for utilities across the country," commented Comverge Enterprise Group's COO and President Frank Magnotti. "We will continue adding Verifiable Peaking Capacity in Utah, and New England, as well as San Diego, where recruitment and installation efforts are well underway. We are proud to congratulate our growing team here at Comverge on this accomplishment. Their continuing commitment to Comverge's three core competencies, Operational Excellence, Innovation, and Customer Intimacy, have made this achievement possible."
Robert Chiste, Comverge's CEO added, "Just as written in the Energy Bill, Demand Response is the national policy of the United States. Comverge's fully outsourced programs are offering utilities an innovative business model for reducing peak capacity through Demand Response, thereby allowing them to defer capital intensive transmission and generation upgrades. The market for these programs is constantly growing and Comverge seeks to be at the forefront of this growth."