Networked Distributed Generation Answers Utilities' Need for Additional Power Resources

Using a communications network provided by Sixth Dimension, Celerity Energy, Portland, Ore., is creating the largest independent power project in the Western United States. By using existing distributed-generation assets, such as standby generators at commercial and industrial facilities in New Mexico, the project provides a quick solution to utilities facing a shortage of power resources. When completed, the project will provide 25 megawatts of dispatchable electric peaking capacity into Public Service Company of New Mexico's (PNM) system to support the distribution and transmission system in the Albuquerque area. Participating PNM commercial and industrial customers will benefit because annual costs to own and maintain their standby generators will be reduced. PNM will access a valuable new source of electric supply to build capacity and enhance system reliability. Celerity Energy develops distributed-generation solutions around the world and will install processor-based controls and paralleling switchgear that Sixth Dimension's distributed-intelligent network, called 6D iNet, will dispatch and control. 6D iNet features communications software and hardware that links distributed-generating assets, such as standby generators, so they can be remotely managed and operated. The New Mexico project will be phased in this spring, with the final units completed in time for the summer peaking season. The project, which recently received the Joint Industry and Government Pollution Prevention Award by the City of Albuquerque and the New Mexico Facility Manager Network, may increase to 75 megawatts in coming years. Celerity Energy will operate and maintain the control equipment installed on the standby generators. In addition, Celerity will create a system that allows PNM to directly dispatch power produced by the standby generators through a wholesale purchase agreement with Celerity. Sixth Dimension, a Colorado-based company, has developed a distributed-intelligent network that offers new service-delivery capabilities to the energy industry. The company's total solution offers a secure, fully managed and reliable network; customized services packages; and the ability to connect to any device––whether a legacy device or a new power-technology product. Sixth Dimension manages all field deployment, device connectivity, and ongoing maintenance of the network. Energy-management companies and their customers can monitor energy use, remotely control on-site generation and curtailable loads, and receive pricing information. For more information, visit Celerity Energy, founded in 1999, develops distributed-energy resource solutions for electric utilities, power marketers, and electric-power users throughout the world. Public Service Company of New Mexico is the largest investor-owned utility in the state. Headquartered in Albuquerque, it provides electricity to more than 360,000 customers and natural gas to more than 425,000 customers.

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