A recent Comverge white paper, An Inside Look at Preparing a Demand Response Management System to Control High Volumes of Two-Way Communicating Devices, describes the valuable possibilities that are opening up for utilities as they increase their utilization of two-way controllable devices. Instead of designing the DRMS by breaking up load into large groups and treating 10,000 thermostats like a large industrial facility, these two-way devices have the more complex job of actually sending messages to the 10,000 individual devices. The benefit of this approach is greatly improved forecast granularity and the flexibility for surgical event dispatch. The Comverge white paper describes how to address the technological challenges associated with communicating with thousands of devices.
A filing by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) with the California Public Utilities Commission provides details regarding SDG&E’s continuation of its DR program with Comverge. On page 20 of SDG&E’s 2017 Demand Response Program Proposals, SDG&E requests a total budget of $2,534,408 to continue its current Summer Saver Program contract in 2017. The program provides current AC load reduction of 15.4 MW. As SDG&E states, “the long-term plan for the Summer Saver program is to gradually transition away from one-way pager device technology to newer technologies as these devices reach their end of life cycle.”