St. John's Lutheran Church Enrolls in MISO Demand Response Programs to Reduce Electricity Costs and Support Community
Church facilities support the reliability of the electric grid and reduce impact of capacity price increases by conserving energy during times of grid stress in Bloomington, Illinois, while calling on other local organizations to do the same
BLOOMINGTON, IL, November 1, 2022 - Voltus, Inc. ("Voltus"), the leading distributed energy resource (DER) software platform, today announced that it has enrolled St. John's Lutheran Church (“St. John’s”) in demand response programs in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator ("MISO") Illinois region. Earlier this year, the MISO 2022/2023 Planning Resource Auction resulted in a 50x electricity capacity price increase while revealing a power reliability gap. It has been forecasted that customers in seven MISO zones spanning eleven US states are at risk of seeing controlled power outages and even higher bills in the 2023/2024 MISO auction.
In September of 2022, Shari Buckellew, Executive Director of St. John's, called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) to re-evaluate the increased capacity rate, explaining that, “in 2021, the monthly capacity charge on our bill was approximately $10 per month. Due to the change in the Capacity PLC as set by MISO, our capacity charge was $1,150 for the month of July. I am certain we are not the only not-for-profit that cannot afford this type of increase without any notice.” Buckellew continued, “Organizations that are the bedrock of our communities, such as schools, churches and hospitals cannot afford this unprecedented increase."
Voltus quickly educated St. John’s about MISO’s various demand response programs that help to offset significant energy cost increases. The church and its facilities will reduce electricity consumption in response to market signals, which will generate energy income and savings, while supporting the stability of the grid for its congregation and community. “St John’s encourages all not for profits to research options such as demand response programs with Voltus, not just to offset increasing power bills, but to support the safety of their communities,” Buckellew added.
"Voltus was incredibly moved by St. John's letter to FERC. That such a small organization would have the courage and wherewithal to reach out to a federal agency to ask for help highlights the harsh reality of what so many organizations are enduring in Illinois and across the country," says Gregg Dixon, Voltus CEO & Co-founder. "These circumstances highlight the importance of distributed energy resources that not only address acute grid reliability needs quickly but also deliver back to consumers the many direct and indirect economic benefits of participating in electricity markets to take control of their bills.”
Earlier this year, Voltus announced that its nearly 500 MW MISO portfolio is prepared to help meet a projected 5,000 MW shortfall, while calling on state regulators and FERC to lift demand response bans.
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