Located in Taos, New Mexico, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) strives to provide members with reliable electricity, affordable rates, environmental sustainability and local economic development.
KCEC came to Camus Energy with a simple, yet ambitious goal to achieve 100% daytime solar by 2022. By thoughtfully increasing its use of local solar, KCEC could reduce the cost of electricity, bolster consumer choice and equity, and support grid reliability.
Cost of Electricity: Provide bill savings from cheaper solar, avoid unfair cost burdens, and hedge against rising rates.
Access to Solar and Consumer Choice: Ensure equal access to solar, including for those who cannot utilize rooftops, while providing consumer choice in how community members acquire renewables.
Competition and Economic Development: Empower private sector participation in solar development, stimulate growth, and create local jobs.
Resilience and Reliability: Utilize distributed generation to enhance resilience, support grid reliability, and reduce GHG emissions.
Equity: Support community solar for low-income households, provide opportunities for Indian nation participation in solar development, and create a landowners stimulus.
In order to reach their goal of 100% daytime solar, KCEC planned to dramatically increase procurement of renewable energy from ~10 to 38 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity and from 0 to 30 MWh of battery storage.
Without improvements to grid visibility, rapidly integrating so much new renewable capacity would pose a major challenge for KCEC’s operations team. The cooperative’s CEO, Luis A. Reyes, Jr., and leadership team selected Camus to provide advanced situational awareness and control through its software platform.
Camus Energy’s grid management platform gave KCEC an integrated system view that leverages existing data sources for real-time analysis. This allows the KCEC team to understand power flows both in front of and behind-the-meter while using third-party telemetry to build a complete picture of current and near-future grid conditions.
Integrating disparate data sources to support real-time operations is often a daunting task for utilities. Camus Energy takes a step by step approach that saves money and enhances grid reliability:
KCEC expects to reach its 100% daytime solar goal by the end of 2021, six months ahead of schedule. In doing so, the cooperative will have reduced its energy supply costs from 9.5 to 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), providing $10 million in annual savings.
Beyond cost savings, KCEC is able to help Taos and surrounding communities reach renewable energy goals, decarbonize more quickly, and support local economic development. Revenue from local solar systems directly benefits the community, rather than out-of-state generators.
“Camus’ platform gives us the ability to change when our members want change.”
- Luis A. Reyes, Jr., CEO, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative
Through the new software platform, KCEC is able to leverage cloud-computing to reap benefits that were previously unattainable to utilities of its size.
Now that KCEC is well underway to achieving its daytime solar goal, work continues to pave the way for a fully decarbonized grid including serving new, dynamic loads like electric vehicles.
Check out our webinar with KCEC's CEO Luis Reyes Jr. and Camus' CEO Astrid Atkinson.