Holy Cross Energy (HCE), an electric cooperative in Western Colorado, has an ambitious goal to transition from a coal-heavy power mix to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030. About 80% of its carbon-free generation will come from utility-scale solar, wind, and battery storage, with the remaining 20% coming from local distributed energy resources (DERs), such as rooftop solar and batteries at homes and businesses. As HCE makes this shift, it seeks to keep its service affordable while enhancing the resilience of its grid and members.
To get there, HCE is fundamentally re-envisioning grid operations. Its vision is to become a distribution system operator that can manage the local grid and orchestrate complex interactions among diverse energy resources—similar to how independent system operators manage transmission systems today. The cooperative wants to treat all of its energy resources agnostically so that its members can participate in its portfolio in the same way as bulk resources.
As more HCE members deployed DERs, the cooperative recognized that managing proliferating DER types, vendors, data, and programs was getting complicated. It needed to simplify the operational complexity while maintaining the flexibility to offer new programs and support more resources.
To enable HCE to progress towards its vision and goals, Camus Energy deployed a secure, cloud-based grid orchestration software platform.
The platform combines monitoring, analysis, and control of HCE’s grid on an interface overlaid with Google Maps. Its features include:
Deploying the platform involved collecting, transferring, and integrating HCE’s datasets, such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), geographic information system (GIS), powerline sensor data, weather data, and data from DERs and renewable energy plants.
Camus has provided the cooperative with a strong foundation for its transformation into a 100% carbon-free distribution system operator:
The platform’s deployed capabilities were selected based on the near-term needs of the cooperative. The HCE team plans to deploy additional capabilities to address more opportunities and challenges.
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