Con Edison — the large utility company that provides New York City with electricity — is partnering with one of the world’s top providers of integrated energy management products made specifically for energy companies, Landis+Gyr, on a new pilot project, according to recent reports.
The pilot project will be testing out the utilization of Landis+Gyr’s L510 load control switches at plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging stations around the city — at fifty single-family homes where the company installed them, to be exact.
The pilot program is intended to allow the utility company to test sub-metering technologies and to learn more about how customers react when asked to charge their cars at specific times of the day — the times when electricity demand is low.
As well as allowing for the remote control of high-consumption appliances, the L510 utilizes built-in metrology to compute and send information on energy usage.
The findings of the pilot project will be detailed — covering the company’s evaluation of the accuracy and usefulness of the metering technology — in a report to be published sometime before March 31, 2015.
“As electric vehicles become more popular in New York City and Westchester County, we are working to make sure we can meet the demand for electricity and continue to provide our customers with industry-leading reliable service,” stated John Shipman, Department Manager, Demand Management and Customer Engagement, at Con Edison. “Options such as variable rates – which reward customers for charging vehicles at times when demand for electricity is low – can help us maintain the reliable service New Yorkers need.”
“As electric vehicles become more common, utilities will need more visibility into the impact on the distribution grid. An intelligent switch like the L510 can serve multiple functions for the utility since it knows how much energy the appliance being controlled is consuming at any given time,” stated Clark Pierce, Vice President and General Manager of Landis+Gyr’s load management business. “This provides the utility with more options and value for managing and balancing system load throughout the day.”
Landis+Gyr currently possesses sales of over $1.5 billion a year — via its operations spread-out over thirty different countries and five continents.
It’s hard to say how people will react to being asked to organize their charging behavior around the requests of a third party (which is, of course, why the study is “needed”), so it’ll be interesting to see how this goes. Will the potential cost savings supersede “customer sovereignty”?
Image Credit: Landis+Gyr
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