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O-24. Managing peak energy with smart grid controls

Presenter: James Spencer, New Belgium Brewing Co..

Peak energy is an important issue facing this country, rising demand is pushing the capacity of the generation and distribution infrastructure beyond it’s capacity. As a result, there are increasing capital costs that will be passed on to the consumer through higher rates, and more equipment must be installed to provide power during these peak times. In light of the challenging issues, the Department of Energy awarded a group from Fort Collins, CO, a grant to explore innovative ideas that could reduce the peak load on the grid and extend the capacity by as much as 30%. The solution that this group developed involved using smart grid controls to manage technology for site power generation and load reduction methods. The smart grid controls are configured to provide communication and information between the grid and these assets so they can be deployed at times of peak energy demand. This solution would leverage existing and new distributed generation and load-shedding methods and reduce or eliminate new investments in the utility’s electrical power infrastructure. This presentation will provide the details of how this technology has been implemented at New Belgium Brewery and other sites in Fort Collins.

Jim Spencer has been with New Belgium since 2005. He leads the brewery’s engineering design team, which is responsible for many brewing technology innovations, as well as some remarkable energy efficiency and water-saving ideas at the brewery. Jim has 25 years of experience in engineering and project management in the brewing and beverage industries. He has a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from the University of Colorado.