What if you could navigate the increasingly complex energy environment at your largest commercial energy customers to increase engagement and offer new services without ever stepping foot behind-the meter? That’s what one of the largest ESPs in the United States asked themselves which lead to a nationwide search for Energy IoT platforms from companies with experience behind-the-meter at large Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sites.Working with Blue Pillar, the ESP saw an opportunity to provide a solution framework that was open, interoperable and able to solve energy challenges on both sides of the meter. Now, the ESP is better positioned to take full advantage of distributed generation located behind the meter at key customer commercial facilities and use these new sources of generation and energy storage to their mutual benefit.
Identifying Four Key Requirements
The ESP identified four requirements needed to successfully connect their national fleet of distributed generation assets of varying makes, models and types into one modern, centralized, and controllable system:
- Identify open, vendor-agnostic Energy IoT platforms capable of connecting any legacy generation assets, such as gas/diesel generators AND new assets including energy storage, fuel cells, wind turbines, combined heat and power (CHP) and solar photovoltaic with one platform to eliminate data silos.
- Identify open, vendor agnostic Energy IoT platforms that could be “plug and play” to third party software applications through an Open API to enable delivery of real-time data and control tied into the ESP’s existing set of software-enabled alarms to produce energy management and demand-side response programs in real-time.
- Emphasize scalability and security from sensor to cloud through the Energy IoT platform for centralized control and monitoring.
- Have an automated deployment approach that could reduce upfront installation costs and deliver fastest time to value to enable data and control behind-the-meter.
Solution Outcome: Blue Pillar’s Aurora Energy Network of Things Platform
Blue Pillar’s Aurora® Energy Network of Things® platform was evaluated next to 20 alternative solutions and was selected by the ESP. To accelerate behind-the-meter deployments, Blue Pillar worked quickly to accurately inventory all energy assets by surveying the ESP C&I facilities with our automated Aurora Site Survey tool. Next, preconfigured Blue Pillar retrofit kits and Aurora Gateways were rapidly installed to create a secure, best-fit network that was deployed 75 percent faster and 30 percent more affordably than the ESP’s previous efforts before Blue Pillar. Lastly, through the Aurora OpenAPI, real-time behind-the-meter data was visualized at the customer site through our energy cloud to third-party software applications used at the ESP’s control centers across the U.S. By being a truly open, vendor-agnostic system, Blue Pillar was the only solution that provided an IoT platform that could deliver ubiquitous connectivity across a multi-asset, multi-protocol and multiapplication environment that freed the ESP from stranded, proprietary equipment and data silos.
Now, the ESP can control behind-the-meter DERs from their control center in real-time to generate revenue and balance the grid. On the other side of the meter, their C&I customers enjoy real-time data to measure and verify their energy management programs and find new paybacks through energy efficiency or Automated Demand Response programs. This win-win scenario is allowing this ESP to take advantage of the generation that is sitting behind the meter, while increasing engagement with new services to reduce churn at their largest C&I customers.