ARLINGTON, USA: GridPoint Inc., a leading smart grid company, has released GridPoint Platform 3.0, a standards-based open platform that provides utilities with an intelligent network to manage and control distributed energy resources.
GridPoint Platform 3.0 enables utilities to offer consumers online energy programs, delivers advanced demand response programs based on consumer preferences, grid status, real-time market prices and analytics, and expands the variety of home area network devices it controls. Additionally, the platform now provides utilities with an easy, cost-effective path to extend smart grid capabilities to residences equipped with AMR meters.
The platform allows utilities to progressively integrate and customize smart grid solutions, including energy efficiency, load management, renewable integration, storage management and electric vehicle management.
The platform delivers these solutions through the integration of distributed energy resources, including plug-in electric vehicles, solar panels, advanced storage technologies, and household devices such as thermostats, electric water heaters and pool pumps.
GridPoint Platform 3.0 aggregates these assets into a single manageable resource that utilities control via the GridPoint Utility Portal. The platform provides utilities with availability, scheduling and forecasting, and measurement and verification. Furthermore, the platform’s auditing and reporting capabilities are a critical component for utilities seeking revenue-grade treatment for demand response events. Enhanced capabilities of the platform include:
Consumer online energy awareness, insight and management
The platform offers utilities the ability to engage their customers through various levels of online energy programs including energy awareness, insight and management, all facilitated via the GridPoint Customer Portal. GridPoint’s energy awareness solution does not require devices in the home and provides consumers with a daily view of household energy consumption. Additionally, consumers can opt-in online to participate in future programs offered by the utility.
GridPoint’s energy insight solution provides greater functionality and also does not require devices in the home. It integrates utility-provided billing and consumption data and enables customers to submit household energy usage information online to receive recommendations on how to better manage their energy. Community-level analytics are also incorporated to allow consumers to compare their energy usage and conservation efforts with their neighbors’.
With additional devices in the home, the platform enables utilities to provide consumers with an advanced online energy management program. Consumers use the GridPoint Customer Portal to create an energy profile to automatically manage appliances and in-home devices according to their preferences, such as turning off the water heater during work hours.
Through the portal, they receive pricing alerts and environmental messages to encourage participation during specific periods. During a demand response event, consumers can opt-out either from the portal or directly from an in-home display.
Advanced load management
GridPoint Platform 3.0’s load management solution is the first step in completely automated demand response programs. The platform’s ease of integration with grid operating systems enables the platform to optimize the grid by delivering the specific amount of load or supply based on market prices for power, grid status, weather, and environmental impact of generation mix.
This data is provided by companies including Xcel Energy Smart Grid Consortium partners OSIsoft, the real-time enterprise infrastructure for secure smart grid operations, and Ventyx, the world’s largest private software, data and advisory services provider to the energy and utility industry. The platform continuously provides grid operating systems with forecasts on load demand, as well as the demand response and supply capacity of distributed resources.
During an event, the platform determines which resources and customers can participate based on first- and second-tier analysis. First-tier analysis selects resources based on group characteristics such as load class, feeder or substation.
Once selected, second-tier analysis determines which resources can participate based on customer data including a customer’s individual preferences, rate plan or most recent participation in a utility-sponsored event. The platform then delivers the desired amount of load shedding, shifting or power dispatching and sends verification on the actual amount of load reduced or supply dispatched.
Integration with partners to control home area network devices
GridPoint Platform 3.0, an interoperable open platform, enables easy integration with technology partners to control home area network (HAN) devices. The platform provides technology partners with a software development kit to write to an applications program interface, expanding the platform’s ability to integrate a variety of distributed assets.
During an event, the platform sends commands to the partners’ network operations server to control its HAN devices and curtail household load.
For example, GridPoint has worked closely with Control4, a leader in home automation and energy management, to integrate Control4’s HAN products, including the Energy Management Controller, in-home energy display, thermostat and measurement module, for a complete, robust solution for the utility market.
Additionally, GridPoint Platform 3.0 now controls wireless ZigBee-enabled thermostats, which can be programmed by the consumer either through GridPoint’s customer portal or directly on the thermostat display.
ERT Reader and smart grid capabilities
In addition to GridPoint’s capabilities within AMI environments, the platform provides the capability to integrate an ERT reader. This provides utilities with an easy, cost-effective path to extend smart grid capabilities to residences equipped with AMR meters.