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Lutron Electronics Company, Inc.

7200 Suter Road
Coopersburg, PA 18036
United States
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Lutron Smart Grid Project: Automated Demand Response Small Commercial Pilot Program with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pacific Gas & Elect
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Coopersburg, PA (October 19, 2010) — Light control manufacturer Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., announces today its participation in an Automated Demand Response (AutoDR) Small Commercial Pilot Program conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E).

The pilot, run by the California Energy Commission’s PIER (Public Interest Energy Research) Demand Response Research Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, is an assessment of emerging technology available for 20-200 kW peak load customers in Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) service territory. The project is examining the use of the OpenADR (an emerging demand response communications standard) and DRAS (a Demand Response Automation Server) to communicate DR messages to commercial customers via the Internet and for those customers to automatically curtail electricity consumption via lighting, HVAC, and plug-in devices.

“Our research shows that small commercial customers make up over 20% of peak demand in California. The goal of this project is to identify and evaluate technologies, which utilize OpenADR, for this customer group. Demonstrating and evaluating the demand response capabilities of lighting-control technologies is important because lighting is a year-round, fast responding demand resource" says Sila Kiliccote, program manager at LBNL and the PIER Demand Response Research Center.

LBNL and PG&E scheduled a sequence of demand response events in October on select days during which the simulated price of electricity increased by $1.20 per kWh during a 4-hour peak demand period from 2:00 PM to 6 PM. A Lutron Quantum® Total Light Management system is installed at the Associated Lighting Representatives, Inc., (ALR) main office in Oakland, California. The system receives these DR alerts and automatically responds by activating a customer pre-programmed load shedding strategy.

“This technology exists today from Lutron for your commercial building to automate DR with communications from your local utility,” said Ian Rowbottom, Director of Smart Grid Solutions at Lutron. “A building’s light control system is one of the most effective ways to stabilize and bring efficiencies in peak demand situations by shedding lighting loads seamlessly without any distractions to employees or customers.”

“Lutron's system automatically sends us email notifications when demand response events are scheduled so there are no surprises, and gives us the ability to opt out if our business needs require us to do so. The system has automatically responded to all of the called events. With Lutron's smooth dimming and slow fade rates, many employees haven't even noticed the dimming, and yet we've managed to shed significant load during peak periods,” says Darin Buscaglia, principal at ALR.

This technology will support future demand response / peak demand management programs planned for PG&E’s commercial customers such as Peak Day Pricing (PDP), a program that PG&E will roll out to its 20–200 kW commercial customers in November of 2011.