Lutron Electronics recently announced 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 Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Demand Response Research Center at LBNL, is an assessment of emerging technology available for 20kW to 200kW peak load customers in PG&E service territory. The project is examining the use of the OpenADR (an emerging demand response communications standard) and a Demand Response Automation Server (DRAS) 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.

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-hr peak demand period from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 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 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 20kW to 200kW commercial customers in November 2011.

Source: Lutron