Early tests signal good news for demand response system

Promising results are coming in as testing progresses for the integration between Great River Energy’s new demand response management system (DRMS) and member-owner cooperative Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s (LREC) load management system.

“We’re now transmitting messages to real-life hardware at LREC,” said Great River Energy’s John Reinhart, demand response and technologies lead. “There is a lot of testing yet to do, but what we’re seeing tells us that DRMS integration to different load management vendors is technically feasible using open software protocols.”

Load management is the process of balancing the supply of electricity on the network with the load by adjusting or controlling the amount of electricity being used rather than the amount of electricity being generated at power stations. A DRMS helps modernize the grid by offering two-way communication with member-owner cooperatives, more precise control and interconnection with growing load control technologies.

LREC is the first of Great River Energy’s member-owner cooperatives to begin integration to the new DRMS, which Great River Energy transitioned to last year after having announced in 2015 that its outdated load management system would be retired in 2026.

“We see this project as the future and we’re willing to help make it work,” said LREC’s Tim Hart, electronic systems supervisor.

Member-owner cooperatives Nobles Cooperative Electric and Kandiyohi Power Cooperative also are expected to be integrated to the new DRMS by year-end.