ENBALA Networks brings demand-response to grid regulation

Toronto-based ENBALA Networks has brought demand-response to a new level — just don’t call it demand-response.

In traditional demand-response, companies such as Comverge and EnerNOC sign up dozens, potentially hundreds of clients that agree to reduce their energy demand when asked. When a heat wave hits and electricity demand spikes, a power system operator will ask a Comverge or EnerNOC to orchestrate a large-scale demand reduction for a specific period of time. These companies (and their clients) get paid to reduce their electricity, with the idea being that the cost of such programs is far less expensive than the cost of building (and paying for) a natural gas peaker plant to do the job — that is, negawatts is cheaper than natural gas megawatts.

EnerNOC, for example, said it was able to reduce power demand across the United States last week by 1,230 megawatts when asked to kick its services into action.

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