Building Management Hawaii February/March - (Page 20)

On The Grid Earn credit for being part of the solution. By Earle Ifuku Energy H ow about a chance to save money on your electric bill and help decrease the state’s dependency on imported fuel? If you qualify, Hawaiian Electric’s FastDR program could be for you. FastDR (Fast Demand Response) is a pilot program that provides monthly bill credits to electricity users who can be on-call to temporarily reduce energy use to help Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) maintain grid stability, integrate renewable energy and control electricity prices. FastDR is available to commercial and industrial customers (including residential buildings) able to shut off 50 kilowatts or more of electric equipment within a 10-minute notice. A FastDR event is called when HECO anticipates demand might exceed supply, or when renewable resources (wind, solar, etc.) unexpectedly drop off. In return, customers receive at least $3,000 a year credit off their electric bills, whether or not a FastDR event occurs. Smarter, more economical building operations can be an added benefit. By participating, customers also gain access to real-time minute-by-minute energy consumption data via a web portal. To some facility managers, this information is even more valuable than the credits. Understanding real-time demand can help identify inefficiencies and control monthly peak demand, thereby saving even more money on the monthly demand charge. FastDR can be installed to be triggered manually or remotely, but in every case the customer is notified and may opt out of an event. This ensures that business processes and the safety and comfort of customers and employees are not jeopardized. FastDR is not the same as energy efficiency (getting the same work from less energy) and conservation (using less), which are both on-going, round-the-clock activities. FastDR 20 February–March 2013 BMH is intermittent and temporary. It is limited to a set number and length of events per year. Hawaii has long had some of the highest electric rates in the nation, due mostly to our near total dependency on imported fossil fuel, mostly oil, for all energy needs, including air and surface transportation and, of course, electricity. Since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Japan’s nuclear plants have been offline. That country has dramatically increased use of fuel oil, the primary fuel used by HECO. As part of the Asia Pacific market, Hawaii is paying more than ever for our main fuel. As building managers well know, oil prices continue to be volatile and unpredictable, making it difficult to budget. Hawaii’s response is a 20-year, communitywide effort to get off oil and increase use of local resources. Today, Oahu has two new wind farms, new utility-scale solar plants and a remarkable boom in customer-sited solar panels. As a result, the amount of renewable and variable power resources feeding electricity into the grid is growing dramatically. This is great, but we all know wind does not always blow nor is every day sunny. In addition, wind can die down or clouds cover the sun very suddenly and without advance notice. To keep the electric grid reliable during a “slow renewable energy day” or other generation problem, HECO’s available options are: •  tart or turn up existing fossil S fuel generation plants (costly & inefficient) •  uild new fast-starting power plants B (very costly) •  ive with unplanned outages (bad L for business, safety and comfort) •  nitiate voluntary customer power I reductions (FastDR) Actual commissioning test from a FastDR customer, Pacific Park Plaza, showing a 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. event.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii February/March

Top 3 Energy Incentives
On The Grid
Solar: Not A Singular Solution
Saving Money & Art
Payback Projects
Top 10: Turn Energy Into Value
AC: Light-Zapping Clean
Does Your HVAC Talk BACnet?
Editorial: Industry Insights
Association Updates & Industry News
Ask An Expert: No One Likes To Sag

Building Management Hawaii February/March