Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Public Service Commission of Maryland selects CPower to help prevent energy supply shortfall with demand response

CPower, a leading energy management firm, today announced that it has entered into contracts with three major Maryland utilities – Allegheny Power, Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) and Delmarva Power and Light Company – to provide demand response capacity in times of peak energy demand for the 2011– 2016 time period. Combined with existing contracts in the PJM Interconnection region, CPower will now provide an estimated 200 megawatts (MW) of capacity in the area.

In 2008, the Public Service Commission of Maryland determined that possible construction delays in new transmission projects could leave Maryland dangerously short of electric supply as early as 2011. Determined to find the least expensive way of ensuring reliable electric service for Maryland residents, the Commission examined many possible new sources of electric supply, and turned to demand response. In Order 82511, the Commission specifically pointed to the benefits of demand response, stating that "demand response resources now represent a reasonable, low-cost hedge against demand growth and potential reliability shortfalls."

Through its Maryland contracts, CPower will manage the enrollment and participation of the utilities' electricity customers in demand response. Participating customers will reduce their electricity consumption during periods of peak demand, providing a reliable supply of electricity back to the grid and helping to prevent brownouts and blackouts. In return, customers will receive payments for their participation.

"The Commission's decision truly validates the use of demand response as a reliable energy alternative," said Gary Fromer, CPower CEO. "This is one of the first times a state has dealt with a pending energy crisis using demand response rather than by building new power plants, which we applaud."

CPower's contracts with Maryland utilities are the fourth, fifth, and sixth the company has been awarded this past year. Previous contract wins include the Ontario Power Authority, the Central Vermont Public Service and Southern California Edison.

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