Municipal Authority evaluates demand response program

JOHNSONBURG – Johnsonburg Municipal Authority officials discussed enrolling in a demand response program with Senior Program Representative Mark Diodate of Energy Curtailment Specialists, Inc.out of Buffalo, N.Y. during Tuesday night's regular meeting.Demand response programs offer incentives to users who volunteer to participate by temporarily reducing their electricity usage when demand could overrun supply.“Every single participant who is enrolled in what is called demand response is acting as their own mini power plant,” Diodate said. “So when there are instabilities during peak times on the grid for months June, July, August and September, that is usually historically the highest peaking months for electric consumption across the board, we are notified by the utility to notify our members to scale back on electrical consumption so for a very short amount of time you are asked to scale back on electrical consumption based on your megawatt or kilowatt reduction.”According to Diodate, funding is available to the municipality on a local, state and federal level.“We are actively going out and seeking new participants in specific utilities zones that we as a company have a requirement to fulfill for the particular utility,” Diodate said. “In this case WestPenn is your generator and we are aggressively going out and helping to stabilize things within your specific utility zone.”Between the months of June to September the program can require, as a maximum, the municipality to scale back on electrical consumption for a total of 60 hours and for a maximum of 6 hours per event.They can call for a maximum of 60 hours for those four months, but the likelihood is very rare that you will get a six hour emergency call to reduce electrical consumption for that amount of time,” Diodate said. “WestPenn has never been called.”Pick up a copy of the Friday, March 23, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.Next meetingJohnsonburg Municipal AuthorityTuesday, April 176 p.m.Municipal Building