Monthly Newsletter - July 6, 2017
In Good Company
THG Technology Partner WattTime Joins Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has long focused on ways to help companies and consumers transition to a cleaner and more prosperous energy future. In June RMI announced it had formally incorporated WattTime, a Silicon-Valley based nonprofit that produces technology that can automatically detect the actual emissions impacts when people and companies use energy-as a subsidiary organization.
Our electricity system is the largest source of U.S. carbon emissions, yet we currently measure emissions from our power use incorrectly. The actual emissions associated with our electricity use varies constantly, based on which power plants are being dispatched to meet the next kilowatt-hour of power. Until now, there hasn't been an effective way to measure these changes in real time, so we've used average emissions factors. WattTime has developed analytical approaches that make real-time data accessible for the first time. By empowering consumers with this data, and helping them to make choices about their energy use intelligently and automatically, WattTime can amplify RMI's ability to drive a low-carbon energy future.
WattTime + RMI: A New Frontier of Customer Choice
Currently, customers have little choice in the type of energy they use or how much carbon they emit from electricity consumption. Today, when customers choose clean energy options through their utility, or corporations engage in power purchase agreements for renewables or invest in energy efficiency, the actual effect on their carbon footprint varies based on when they use energy. WattTime's data can help customers understand the emissions impact of decisions in real-time, and can help customers take advantage of demand flexibility to draw energy only at the cleanest times of the day.
WattTime's software automatically detects where the electricity powering the grid is coming from and the actual emissions impacts when people and companies use energy-both in real time and ahead of time-so any device connected to the Internet can use power at times when our electricity is the cleanest. WattTime-enabled devices run cleaner than a normal device with no cost to or impact on the end user. That means any customer can unlock the power of increased choice by taking advantage of when his or her devices draw power.
WattTime + THG Energy Solutions: Accelerating the transition to a cleaner grid
Measuring emissions from the grid correctly and providing customers and companies with the tools to act on that information unlocks new approaches to reducing emissions, both for customers and the grid. WattTime has found a way to harness these ideas, and apply them in an innovative yet practical way-utilizing demand flexibility in consumer and business devices to optimize for carbon reduction or other emissions. THG has adapted its real-time market response gateway technology to support leading companies who want to avoid the dirty 'peaker plant' emissions. THG's demand response technology can now take the WattTime real-time power production feed and help customers set load shed strategies during times when the local grid is running on high-emissions power. We're honored to be in such great company!
For more information on how to establish a WattTime carbon management program or view a demo, contact THG's Jim Westover: email@example.com or 512.744.6397.
THG & The Climate Registry Create Alliance
New Carbon Reporting Services Provide Enhanced, Reliable Options
THG Energy Solutions (THG) and The Climate Registry (TCR) have entered into a partnership to offer TCR's greenhouse gas (GHG) management platform as a value-added extension of THG's Energy Intelligence Suite. TCR is a U.S.-based non-profit that is governed by states as well as Canadian provinces and territories. TCR provides best practice guidance, tools and systems that help organizations measure, report and verify their carbon footprints.
The THG-TCR alliance provides a reliable and stable solution to current federal budget uncertainties relating to GHG reporting through the ENERGY STAR program. TCR's GHG platform is independent of federally funded platforms. Previously, THG utilized only EPA-sponsored eGrid data and EPA protocols for voluntary GHG tracking and reporting. The new partnership provides THG customers with a turn-key contingency solution, plus access to Scope 3 reporting, international GHG tracking, and access to new reporting tools and resources.
According to THG President, Dan Frey, "THG already gathers a significant amount of energy and facility data necessary for carbon reporting through our Energy Intelligence Suite. THG provides turn-key data solutions to help clients participate in TCR's voluntary carbon reporting program cost-effectively. Our joint technology alliance is a logical next step."
THG clients that use TCR's reporting guidance to report their footprint and have it third-party verified are eligible for Climate Registered™ status. This communicates to your investors, customers and the general public that your GHG data has integrity.
"With states, cities and the private sector stepping up to provide leadership on U.S. climate action, TCR plays a key role in assuring that voluntary efforts get proper credit," said Ann McCabe, Executive Director of The Climate Registry. "We're excited to team up with THG to help organizations operate more efficiently, cost-effectively and sustainability."
For more information, contact:
Heat Waves: Demand Response's Time to Shine
EE and DR Helps Grid Operators Balance Grid, Rewards Customers
A June heat wave created unseasonable and
in parts of the Northeast and Midwest, and utilities took the shoulder-season anomaly as a systems check. Grid operators for New York and the Mid-Atlantic reported no operational issues, and only moderate movement in power prices.
In the Northeast there were three days of temperatures above 90 degrees, meaning that in addition to being miserable the stretch also met the "official" definition of a heat wave, The Washington Post reported. In New York City, temperatures went to 93.
But regional grid operators took it in stride, with ample supplies to meet the extra cooling demand. All say they are prepared to meet peak demand on a hot August day, and so an early test in the waning days of spring barely registered.
"Prices were fairly flat except during the peak on Monday, when you'd expect the more expensive units to be called on," PJM spokesman Ray Doddard said in an email. "We had no operational issues."
New York ISO's peak load on Monday was 29,049 MW - compared with an all-time high of 33,956 MW in July of 2013.
"We expect to meet the peak demand and maintain adequate operating reserves over the peak hour," ISO spokesman David Flanagan said. Prices "generally track higher on higher demand days," but he also said the operator's demand response programs had not been initiated Monday or Tuesday.
Fostering the growth of various energy resources can help make grid operations more efficient. And while we tend to focus on the challenges created by the most extreme weather - from the Polar vortex or triple-digit heat - milder shoulder seasons bring their own difficulties beyond just keeping the lights on.
ISO-New England has published a blog post focused on one hot day last month, to illustrate the broader challenges of operating in spring and fall: "When unseasonable weather drives a spike in demand while major energy infrastructure is offline for maintenance."
ISO-NE explained that on May 18, over 7,600 MW of generation were unavailable, "mostly due to planned outages and reductions." Additionally, several transmission upgrade projects were going on in the Boston areas and in northeastern Massachusetts, leading to planned plant outages.
New England temperatures spiked to record highs that day, and the ISO's system peaked at just over 20,000 MW. For reference, a typical spring peak ranges from about 15,000 MW to 16,900 MW.
The system continued to operate reliably, the grid operator explained. But at a cost. Real-time prices ranged from almost $760/MWh in the northeastern Massachusetts and Boston pricing zone, down to -$71/MWh for power from New Brunswick (yes, negative power prices).
Prices rose in many places as constraints blocked out cheaper power. Conversely, prices rose in New England areas where "transmission limitations and outages locked in energy that day." There are areas where the transmission system is too constrained to carry wind power and on particularly windy days not all of it can be moved.
"The negative prices essentially indicated resources' willingness to pay to keep operating, rather than being dispatched down or off line to prevent overloading the transmission system," ISO New England explained.
THG Participates in Climate Ride
Supports Climate Awareness on 5-Day, 300+ Mile Cycling Trek
Last month, Jim Westover represented THG by participating in a California Central Coast cycling event, organized through Climate Ride. Rides bring together bright minds, breathtaking routes for all cycling abilities, and the unforgettable combination of passion and purpose. Over five days, participants rode from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo, including Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel Valley, Paso Robles Wine growing region and Morro Bay.
The mission of Climate Ride is to inspire and empower citizens to work toward a new energy future. The Climate Ride uses sport as a means to change lives and build an effective, citizen-based sustainability movement.
Climate Ride plans and leads epic, multi-day bike rides and hikes while supporting participants to raise funds for projects and organizations that work on climate change, clean energy, active transportation, sustainable infrastructure, and public health. The en-route programming focuses on environmental education, civic engagement, community-building, and active transportation advocacy. Taken together, Climate Ride builds citizen momentum toward a sustainable future.
When a participant signs up for a Climate Ride event, he or she makes an important commitment to meet the fundraising minimum. By self-pledging and fundraising, participants contribute to the grants program, cover the cost of their participation, and support Climate Ride's future growth, development, and programs.
Use THG to Track Waste
Use the Energy Intelligence Suite for Materials Management
THG clients utilizing the Energy Intelligence Suite to track corporate-wide energy use, cost, and demand metrics now have a way to standardize and automate waste management reporting. THG sets-up and processes waste (and water) accounts the same way we manage energy accounts. If the invoice includes a volumetric number and cost, we can track it. We can also import historical data from spreadsheets. We currently track waste and recycling invoices for customers.
- Utilize the same reporting functionality and site navigation as energy commodities
- Quickly review detailed data using tabular views or export into Excel for external purposes
- We can create specialty waste/recycling commodity types as needed
- We can assign conversion factors to various waste/recycling types using published EPA volume-to-weight guidelines
- Users have access to corporate-wide, facility-level, or reporting down to the individual account
- THG supports ENERGY STAR materials management best practices
Did you know?
- THG is a an official ENERGY STAR Service and Product Provider
- THG can provide ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager management, including scoring services
- THG has a Professional Engineer on staff qualified to certify and stamp your projects for EPA approval.
Contact THG's Director of Sustainability, Chad Burden for more information about THG's ENERGY STAR support services: 918.858.4943 or firstname.lastname@example.org
THG's Energy Intelligence Suite
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