Agriculture is an Underserved Customer Segment With Significant, Potentially Flexible Load
Agricultural customers and loads have perennially low DSM participation rates and the segment is not addressed by most customer engagement solutions offered by vendors. This stands in stark contrast to the significant potential of Ag to contribute to utility efforts to manage load profiles and integrate DERs. Ag is characterized by large, binary (of/off) loads relative to enterprise size but faces obstacles to unlock the segment's opportunity:
- Obsolete DLC Technology & Programs: Ag DR programs often use dated control and communications technology, can only curtail loads (requiring farmers to drive to their pumps to restart), are expensive and rarely dispatched.
- Difficult to Engage: Tracking customer sites and contacts is more difficult than C&I segments and customers may have tens of meters for which there is not clear correlation between utility bills and their own data. Their business needs are different than other segments, vary widely with season and climate, and are not as well understood to reps and DSM program managers.
Polaris' team has led in the development of technologies and services for Ag customers for over a decade and offers solutions to bridge the utility-farmer gap:
- Two-Way Pump Monitoring & Control: Low-bandwidth optimized, proven IoT tailored for agricultural and water operations
- Plug ‘n Play Demand Response: OpenADR-capable dispatch, event management, price signals, analytics, customer engagement
- Value-Added Functionality for Customers: Pump control, scheduling, water monitoring, efficiency and reporting, energy cost management