Polaris Awarded $2.8 Million Grant from California Energy Commission (CEC)
Visalia, CA – Polaris Energy Services, a specialist in irrigation load control for the purpose of lowering peak energy demand and costs, has been awarded a $2.8 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The grant will be used by Polaris to develop technology systems, wireless communication protocols, and telemetry reporting that will enhance the ability of agriculture and water users to respond in real time to the latest energy pricing and incentives.
"The electrical grid in California is undergoing massive shifts and changes and agricultural businesses need increased visibility and new programs to be able to participate in these changes," says Nic Stover, CEO of Polaris Energy Services.
"Most peak energy programs, like Demand Response, were originally developed for commercial and industrial organizations, not agricultural operations or water districts. So it’s not surprising that only an estimated 4% of this market is enrolled and active in energy mitigation programs. Yet these electricity users have significant irrigation loads and summer peaks. Emerging pricing programs like Real Time Pricing (RTP) and Demand Response Auction Mechanism (DRAM) provide a unique opportunity for companies to innovate technology solutions that deliver interactive, real-time load adjustment to Ag operations and water districts so that they can fully participate in California’s new energy future."
Polaris Energy Services will collect data from Ag operations and California Investor Owned Utility (IOU) territories participating in the project to benchmark energy use, pumping cycles, pricing/load fluctuations, and other energy-user and utility variables. This data will be used to develop, prototype and manufacture an end-to-end solution for remotely controlling pump and other large load on-and-off cycles to respond in real time to pricing, energy demand, and incentive changes as they fluctuate during the day.
"As more and more solar and renewable energy resources come online in California," notes Stover, "cheaper electricity will be increasingly available during daytime hours, creating new pricing and usage issues for both utilities and customers. There is the potential for changing patterns of over-generation and under-generation to significantly impact energy costs for Ag operations and water districts as peak periods, off-peak periods, and other Time of Use (TOU) measurements morph to adapt to California’s changing energy generation profile. Our goal is to give agricultural operations and water districts the tools they need to adapt and thrive in this changing regulatory and pricing environment while providing the California Energy Commission with data essential to their future energy decisions for California."
About Polaris Energy Services
Polaris Energy Services is an agriculture energy management company based in Central California. Our primary mission is to provide load control solutions to electric utilities that have significant irrigation loads and summer peaks. In addition, we provide value-added real-time remote monitoring and control services to the individual growers and data collection services with the objective of minimizing both agricultural water and electricity usage. Visit our website to learn more: www.polarisenergyservices.com.