EDSA to control UC San Diego's Microgrid | Automation.com

EDSA to control UC San Diego's Microgrid

April 13, 2010 – EDSA and Viridity Energy will support a groundbreaking microgrid project, called RESCO, being deployed at the University of California, San Diego. When operational, the effort will result in the world’s first use of real-time software systems serving as the “Master Controller” in a live customer installation – an achievement that industry experts predicted would not be technologically feasible for at least five more years.

RESCO stands for “Renewable Energy Secure Communities,” a project funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC). The project consists of UC San Diego demonstrating integration of on-site renewable energy production. UC San Diego’s campus-wide microgrid is recognized as one of the most technologically advanced in the world. The microgrid serves a 1,200-acre, 450-building campus with a daily population of 45,000 running two 13.5 megawatt gas turbines, one 3 megawatt steam turbine and a 1.2 megawatt solar-cell installation that together supplies 82 percent of the campus’s annual power.

The RESCO project at UC San Diego is funded by a $1 million grant from the CEC and $1 million in matching funds from the University of California/California State University/Investor Owned Utility Partnership Program.

Under the agreement, EDSA and Viridity Energy will combine their proven software solutions – EDSA’s Paladin SmartGrid and Viridity Energy’s VPower – to provide the power system optimization and energy market optimization capabilities necessary to ensure the reliability, energy efficiency, and cost efficiency of the UC San Diego microgrid. The finished solution will combine the best attributes of both of its parent products, in order to allow UC San Diego to successfully manage electrical power generation and consumption. This solution will also allow UC San Diego to eventually sell excess power to utilities, other energy users, or on the open market.

EDSA’s master controller, integrated with Viridity Energy’s optimization software, will minimize UC San Diego’s energy use and emissions and schedule zero- or low-carbon energy production. The software will also optimize energy efficiency and energy storage operations and manage the response of the microgrid to market energy prices on an hourly basis – all in a way that does not currently exist.

“While the UC San Diego microgrid is already very efficient, we think our experience with the EDSA master controller and Viridity Energy optimization software will increase our energy efficiency, further lower our carbon footprint and give us additional value by enabling our ability to buy and sell electricity when energy prices are most competitive,” said Byron Washom, Director of Strategic Energy Initiatives at UC San Diego. “To create such an advanced level of real-time sophistication, intelligence will be encoded at every level of our energy production, storage, consumption and distribution systems. In essence, we are a microcosm of the smart grid of the future that can be replicated by universities, cities and other large producers and consumers of electricity.”

The “parent products” that encompass the finished solution are:

  • Paladin SmartGrid: Paladin SmartGrid answers the need for a Master Controller to serve as an intelligent interface between a microgrid and the utility grid. It enables the seamless integration of on-premise and distributed energy sources – such as solar, wind, or local co-generation – without compromising the reliability of power from the legacy utility grid. In addition, Paladin SmartGrid delivers immediate energy conservation and substantial cost savings by optimizing the power performance of all aspects of a microgrid.

  • Viridity Energy VPower: VPower is an energy optimization platform that generates revenue for clients by enabling them to participate in wholesale power markets. Using VPower, clients can maximize economic value through efficient use of distributed resources such as cogeneration, solar, energy storage systems and controllable loads, while simultaneously achieving sustainability objectives. Within a given electricity market, VPower allows clients’ controllable resources to appear to the Market Operator as a single, Virtual Generator optimized and ready to be dispatched into the capacity, day-ahead and real-time energy markets.

  • The collaboration of the two companies brings a unique solution to UC San Diego one that encapsulates both market optimization from Viridity Energy and power system optimization provided by EDSA. Together, these companies will deliver valuable benefits to organizations like UC San Diego by enabling them to make operational and economic decisions about energy, such as:

  • Optimizing their energy generation and consumption, generating only as much power as is needed to ensure unfailing reliability, while minimizing costs; and

  • Allowing them to make real-time expert decisions about when to rely on self-generated power, when to switch to utility power, and when to sell excess power back to the public grid.These decisions are driven by five-variable equations of generating costs, utility costs, stored energy, demand, and capacity.

  • The RESCO project will continue to be a showcase system for UC San Diego and the California Energy Commission, by demonstrating a working, campus-scale microgrid that addresses all aspects of energy management required to achieve the larger promise of a global Smart Grid.

    “We are very excited to be partnering with Viridity Energy to bring the vision of a private, managed microgrid interfaced to the public grid to reality,” said Mark A. Ascolese, Chairman and CEO of EDSA. “We share industry experts’ belief that there will be thousands of such microgrids in the future and we are pleased to be at the forefront of this exciting new era in energy independence.”

    “Viridity Energy believes the promise of the Smart Grid will be realized by enabling large consumers of electricity to become pro-sumers, customers who can maximize economic gains from energy assets while delivering greater and greater environmental benefits,” said Audrey Zibelman CEO of Viridity Energy. “This demonstration project combining the unique technologies of VPower and Paladin SmartGrid allows us to participate in proving that future is here today.”

    About EDSA Micro Corporation
    EDSA is a privately held developer of software solutions for the design, simulation, deployment, and preventative maintenance of complex electrical power systems. Founded in 1983, the Company’s Paladin® software products are used by thousands of commercial, industrial, governmental, and military customers worldwide, to protect more than $100 billion in customer assets. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., the Company’s worldwide operations include 30 sales, distribution, and support offices located throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

    About Viridity Energy
    Viridity Energy is making the next generation of the smart grid a reality by providing large energy consumers with powerful tools to increase energy efficiency and decrease energy costs. The company’s unique and flexible VPower platform enables customers to dynamically shift and balance energy load, integrate advanced energy technologies and convert existing energy investments into lucrative new revenue streams. Viridity Energy helps organizations achieve sustainability goals and contribute to the greater good by stabilizing energy price fluctuations. Headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, Viridity Energy was founded in 2008 by former executives of PJM Interconnection.
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