Technology…it’s a great thing.
In recent months, JOEMC has implemented an energy-savings technology that’s helping reduce the cooperative’s wholesale power bill.
Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) is a power-saving innovation that optimizes voltage during peak-demand times, saves the co-op money and can help put downward pressure on electric rates.
CVR is the process of controlling voltage levels so that members don’t receive too much or too little voltage than they need. Voltage levels must be kept higher than always necessary at substations (upstream) to ensure that members along the lines (downstream) receive the appropriate level of voltage.
This process is similar to what takes place in the heating and air duct system of your home. The farther a room is away from the air handler, the lower the airflow. Thus rooms closer to the air handler receive a high air flow so that the farther rooms receive sufficient air flow.
Only recently has this technology been utilized to address energy-demand savings. CVR uses equipment that has been strategically placed along electric lines (from a substation) to monitor voltage levels; specific equipment, called voltage regulators, at substations control the voltage levels. Because voltage no longer has to be kept higher than necessary at these substations, the co-op can reduce demand during peak-use times of the month, when electricity is the most expensive.
“Co-ops that have implemented CVR are seeing savings of one percent system demand cost per each one percent voltage control during the peak monthly hour,” said Aaron Spencer, JOEMC’s Electrical Engineer. “This type of savings will quickly add up and pay for the implementation of our CVR system and benefit the co-op well into the future.”
JOEMC currently has the CVR technology installed at four substations on its electrical system with plans to implement the technology at another five substations in the next month.