EDSA, Viridity Energy Announce Technology Collaboration for Microgrid Effort

April 13, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

EDSA Micro Corp. and Viridity Energy announced a collaboration to technically support a what is described as a groundbreaking microgrid project, called RESCO, being deployed at the University of California, San Diego. When operational, the effort will result in what is said to be the world’s first use of real-time software systems serving as the "Master Controller" in a live customer installation – an achievement that the companies say industry experts predicted would not be technologically feasible for at least five more years.

RESCO stands for "Renewable Energy Secure Communities," a project funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC). The project consists of UC San Diego demonstrating integration of on-site renewable energy production. UC San Diego’s campus-wide microgrid is said to be recognized as one of the most technologically advanced in the world. The microgrid serves a 1,200-acre, 450-building campus with a daily population of 45,000 running two 13.5MW gas turbines, one 3MW steam turbine and a 1.2MW solar-cell installation that together supplies 82% of the campus’s annual power.

The RESCO project at UC San Diego is funded by a $1 million grant from the CEC and $1 million in matching funds from the University of California/California State University/Investor Owned Utility Partnership Program.

Under the agreement, EDSA and Viridity Energy will combine their software solutions – EDSA’s Paladin® SmartGrid™ and Viridity Energy’s VPower™ – to provide the power system optimization and energy market optimization capabilities necessary to ensure the reliability, energy efficiency, and cost efficiency of the UC San Diego microgrid. The finished solution will combine the best attributes of both of its parent products, in order to allow UC San Diego to successfully manage electrical power generation and consumption. This solution will also allow UC San Diego to eventually sell excess power to utilities, other energy users, or on the open market.

EDSA’s master controller, integrated with Viridity Energy’s optimization software, will minimize UC San Diego’s energy use and emissions and schedule zero- or low-carbon energy production. The software will also optimize energy efficiency and energy storage operations and manage the response of the microgrid to market energy prices on an hourly basis – all in a way that the companies say does not currently exist.

The "parent products" that encompass the finished solution are:

– The EDSA Paladin SmartGrid answers the need for a Master Controller to serve as an intelligent interface between a microgrid and the utility grid. It enables the seamless integration of on-premise and distributed energy sources.

– such as solar, wind, or local co-generation – without compromising the reliability of power from the legacy utility grid. In addition, Paladin SmartGrid delivers immediate energy conservation and substantial cost savings by optimizing the power performance of all aspects of a microgrid.

– The Viridity Energy VPower™ is an energy optimization platform that generates revenue for clients by enabling them to participate in wholesale power markets. Using VPower™, clients can maximize economic value through efficient use of distributed resources such as cogeneration, solar, energy storage systems and controllable loads, while simultaneously achieving sustainability objectives. Within a given electricity market, VPower™ allows clients’ controllable resources to appear to the Market Operator as a single, Virtual Generator optimized and ready to be dispatched into the capacity, day-ahead and real-time energy markets.