Automated Demand Response Opportunities in Wastewater Treatment Facilities
Wastewater treatment is an energy intensive process which, together with water treatment, comprises about three percent of U.S. annual energy use. Yet, since wastewater treatment facilities are often peripheral to major electricity-using industries, they are frequently an overlooked area for automated demand response opportunities.
Demand response is a set of actions taken to reduce electric loads when contingencies, such as emergencies or congestion, occur that threaten supply-demand balance, and/or market conditions occur that raise electric supply costs. Demand response programs are designed to improve the reliability of the electric grid and to lower the use of electricity during peak times to reduce the total system costs. Open automated demand response is a set of continuous, open communication signals and systems provided over the Internet to allow facilities to automate their demand response activities without the need for manual actions. Automated demand response strategies can be implemented as an enhanced use of upgraded equipment and facility control strategies installed as energy efficiency measures. Conversely, installation of controls to support automated demand response may result in improved energy efficiency through real-time access to operational data.
This paper argues that the implementation of energy efficiency opportunities in wastewater treatment facilities creates a base for achieving successful demand reductions. This paper characterizes energy use and the state of demand response readiness in wastewater treatment facilities and outlines automated demand response opportunities.