Building Management Hawaii February/March - (Page 20)
On The Grid
Earn credit for being
part of the solution.
By Earle Ifuku
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
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
fuel generation plants (costly &
• uild new fast-starting power plants
• ive with unplanned outages (bad
for business, safety and comfort)
• nitiate voluntary customer power
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
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