Earning revenue by working with the grid is faster than you think. Open standards like OpenADR make the process even easier, but cashing your first check is not as simple as connecting to Voltus’ software.
To get paid in the electricity market, you need to do three things: 1) enroll in the relevant program(s) and define how you will participate 2) provide electricity usage data to demonstrate your performance to the market, and 3) prove that you can receive and act on signals when dispatched.
When you work with Voltus, you’re working with one of the most experienced energy markets teams in the world. We will be with you every step of the way to make sure you maximize revenue from your assets. So what does the process look like when you choose OpenADR as your dispatch method?
Regardless of the integration you’re using, there are six simple steps to set up the integration and get your assets enrolled in the market:
- Data Collection. In order to connect our systems, Voltus needs to have a signed “Letter of Authorization” (LOA) and a utility bill for each site. This allows us to work directly with the utility to obtain electricity usage data (aka interval data) for each site, which in turn demonstrates to the grid operator that you reduced your power consumption, and deserve to get paid!
- Kick-off Meeting. Once everything above has been collected and reviewed, we will schedule a kick-off meeting with your team. The purpose of this meeting is to review critical information about the program(s) you will be registered for. During the call, we will review:
- Software integration timelines
- Program parameters
- Curtailment plan and nominations
- Voltlet installation plan (if applicable). The Voltlet is our on-site metering device. It gives us high granularity electricity usage data, which may be necessary depending on what program(s) you will be enrolled in.
- Software Integration. After the kick-off meeting is the fun part: software integration! But your engineering team doesn’t have to wait to get started. We provide a sandbox VTN for OpenADR that you can connect to without authentication. Schedule an integration test dispatch event with your account manager to ensure you are parsing responses correctly.
- Communications tests. When you’re ready for production, we ask you to send a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). The CSR must use the common name formatted as @openadr.voltus.co, e.g. email@example.com (the important part is the openadr.voltus.co domain) Voltus then signs the request and emails you back the certificate files. After that, the ball is in our court and we set up a VTN server for you. We may have the VTN ready for you, but if not, it will take 1-2 weeks depending on our engineering team’s bandwidth.
To test that you are receiving dispatches, we will use our sandbox VTN (https://sandbox-vtn.voltus.co/sandbox/OpenADR2/Simple/) to send you a communications test (aka comms test). You can email your account manager to request a comms test anytime. We will communicate over email to confirm that the comms test was received, and to help you troubleshoot in the event of an error.
Depending on the programs you’ll be enrolling in, you may also need to have a Voltlet (our proprietary metering hardware) installed to get high granularity electricity usage data for market settlement purposes, but we’ll skip that for the purposes of this article (alternatively, if you already collect this usage data you can send us data via our POST telemetry endpoint).
- Dispatch verification tests. Now we are ready to get the electrons moving! Once we are receiving energy usage data and you are receiving dispatches, we do a formal “Dispatch Verification” test. This test is used to verify how much load your sites can reduce under realistic operating conditions. Based on these results, we review and finalize your nominations with the market to ensure we are maximizing the amount you can earn.
- Market registration. Last step is to enroll your sites with the relevant market(s) and notify you once registration is complete. Your first check will be in the mail sooner than you think! After your first dispatch event of course.
You can rest assured that by working with Voltus, you’re earning the absolute maximum from your DER assets. But don’t take our word for it! You and your team can use our market-leading VoltApp software to see the status of your sites, projected revenue, and actual earnings, broken down by event in real-time. Finally, our engineering and partners teams love talking with customers, so please feel free to reach out with any questions, no matter how small. Our emails are firstname.lastname@example.org (Technical Product Manager) and email@example.com (Partner Success Manager) - hope to hear from you soon!