Friday, March 16, 2007

TWACS Supports VEA In Pahrump

ST. LOUIS — Distribution Control Systems Inc. (DCSI), a subsidiary of ESCO Technologies Inc., announced that its TWACS two-way access communication technology is supporting Valley Electric Association (VEA), a nonprofit cooperative in Pahrump, Nevada in their first domestic solar-powered water heater (DSWH) pilot program.

The yearlong pilot program that began in January 2007 will work in conjunction with energy efficiency data collected from High Efficiency Water Heaters (HEWH), HEWH with a timer, and standard water heaters equipped with the TWACS system for comparisons. The VEA will then determine financial feasibility for VEA and its members in an effort to begin a full-scale program that may involve rebates or other incentives for installation of the water heaters.

Collecting the data that measures energy consumption for a yearlong pilot program can traditionally be expensive and difficult. However, Cornelius Morris, a meter-tech in VEA's apparatus and testing department had an idea. "I thought it made more sense to use the TWACS system we already have in place instead of spending an average of $600 per household to set up testing."

VEA entered into agreements with selected customer participants that stipulate that the member would pay for half the cost of each DSWH system. The pilot program could prove that if more residents use solar power to supplement their power needs that it would effectively decrease the demand for conventionally produced power and may help stabilize rates for everyone.

"If enough DSWH systems were installed, it could enable the co-op to purchase less higher-cost market power. This is especially important during peak hours of energy use, for example when the sun is shinning and energy costs are high", said Joe McCauley, member services representative for VEA. "VEA will now develop fact-based data instead of relying on information derived by rule of thumb to determine what incentive program should be offered to our members."

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