NPPD teammates are constantly brainstorming exciting prospects that provide customers with the services and products they most want. Doing so allows NPPD to implement powerful solutions that benefit all customers along the District’s journey to stay a competitive, long-term partner and premier energy provider for Nebraskans. One such initiative gives NPPD and its customers a way to be on the leading edge of innovation through valuable collaboration.
Using NPPD’s new Demand Response Resource Rider Rate, the pilot project allows up to three NPPD Retail customers to offer a portion of their load, with NPPD’s assistance, into the Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) Integrated Market so long as they can readily curtail that load when needed by SPP – for example, during times of high energy use, congestion, or pricing in the SPP footprint. The project carries several benefits, including positive financial impacts for the customer.
“Having our customers alongside us in our effort to seamlessly balance energy capacity and load is invaluable in helping us manage future generation needs, especially as we continue to support our customer communities in growing and exploring economic development opportunities,” said Columbus Director of Innovation Marie Kapels. “Ultimately, this helps customers save their hard-earned dollars while we strategically work to keep their energy affordable, reliable and sustainable.”
If a customer wants to be on the pilot rate, they must have an output of at least 500 kilowatts at a single location, as well as have a flexible load that is dispatchable on a five-minute basis.
NPPD lends interested customers the expertise and support necessary every step of the way to ensure they are properly set up in the market and receive all proper metering and telecommunication upgrades. In turn, customers take on a more complex role, as well as gain experience as a distributed energy resource in the market, which provides countless learning and partnership opportunities with NPPD and SPP – one of seven regional transmission organizations in the nation.
Compute North, located in Kearney, supports blockchain, cryptocurrency mining and high-performance computing operations and is the first NPPD Retail customer to participate in the pilot project. Compute North’s average load is nearly 100 megawatts, which is almost the same as the city of Kearney during peak demand.
Like NPPD, Compute North is goal-oriented toward efficiency, affordability, sustainability and being a trusted partner to customers.
“Compute North offers a win-win situation for NPPD. We have access to NPPD’s low cost, reliable and renewable energy,” said Compute North CEO Dave Perrill. “And, NPPD can benefit from Compute North’s flexible demand for power as we respond to peak demand by temporarily powering down to alleviate congestion. This flexibility can stabilize energy prices which directly benefits the community.”
Building strong communities where innovation, convenience and progress thrive is a hallmark of public power.
“The city of Kearney, NPPD and other important stakeholders are constantly exploring and pursuing projects that directly impact our community for the better,” said Kearney Mayor and NPPD Retail Account Manager Stan Clouse.
As with anything, customer needs from and expectations of NPPD ebb and flow, but the District is ready for it all.
“Working with our customers to provide the services required to meet their goals is an important part of our business, and the new DRR Rider Rate pilot program is an innovative way to do just that,” said Kapels. “Teammates are currently hard at work to make sure the pilot program is successful, and this new rate could be another useful tool to attract businesses with controllable load, such as Compute North, to Nebraska.”
The results of the pilot will be evaluated after a few months to determine if it can transition out of the pilot phase and become available to more customers.
More details on this pilot program can be found in the Demand Response Resource Rider Rate Schedule on NPPD.com.