Sacramento Municipal Utility District Receives National Energy Innovator Award

(Left to right) Wally Haase, American Public Power Association chair and general manager, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority in Fort Defiance, Ariz.; SMUD board member Dave Tamayo; and Andrew Boatright, past chair, American Public Power Association, and deputy director, Independence Power & Light in Missouri.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District in California received an American Public Power Association Energy Innovator Award at the Association’s national conference in Orlando, Florida. in mid-June.

The award recognizes utility programs that have demonstrated advances in the development or application of creative, energy-efficient techniques or technologies, provide better service to electric customers or projects that increase the efficiency of utility operations or resource efficiency. Judging criteria also includes transferability and takes into account project scope in relation to utility size.

SMUD has long recognized the heavy demand that summer air conditioning puts on the grid. Eighty percent of commercial HVAC systems are located on rooftops, leading to startling inefficiencies as outside temperatures rise. However, alternative systems using indirect evaporative cooling showed potential in reducing peak demand. SMUD ran multiple field tests with large commercial customers to evaluate the feasibility of the technology. It found that despite the high initial cost of converting to a different cooling technology, the conversion results in significant energy savings over time, and can reduce peak demand by up to forty percent.

Reprinted from APPA.

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