October 2, 2023
United Salt Corporation: Leading the Charge in Sustainable Energy Management
At United Salt, we’ve taken significant steps to contribute to a more sustainable future. We’re excited to share that the United Salt Hockley and Saltville manufacturing sites are now enrolled in various Demand Response (DR) programs where our employees play a pivotal role in contributing to a stable, sustainable electricity grid.
Demand Response programs serve as a crucial tool for grid operators and electric utilities to alleviate grid stress. These programs encourage commercial and industrial customers to curtail electricity consumption to maintain the delicate balance between electricity supply and demand during peak usage periods or emergency situations.
The Hockley and Saltville plants have engaged three employees each to actively participate in managing these programs. Overseeing these efforts at the corporate level is Aeric Arreguin (Operations Manager), who bears the overall program responsibility. At the individual site level, the respective plant managers are charged with program implementation.
The onboarding process was a structured journey, beginning with a Kickoff Meeting involving all stakeholders. It progressed through phases including Metering Installation, Contact List Refinement, Dispatch Readiness Testing, Finalization of kW Enrollment, and ultimately, determining our readiness to respond effectively.
The process was meticulously executed, involving a comprehensive checklist. This encompassed providing a detailed list of meter locations at the facilities and the location of the nearest 120-volt power outlets for the installation of advanced energy metering equipment that scans usage data on a per-minute basis. Site contacts were identified who would be notified during a dispatch event and would have responsibility for coordinating equipment installation and maintenance. Additionally, a list of equipment and processes subject to curtailment during a demand response dispatch was established. This response plan remains consistent across all time periods during which we are enrolled in these programs and helps ensure we can continue to meet our customer commitments.
Participation in these programs empowers each of the plants to play a pivotal role in relieving their local electricity grid when required. They also gain the advantage of early grid issue notifications. With the new metering infrastructure in place, we can visualize energy consumption data trends, enabling us to make informed decisions to optimize and minimize our energy usage. For example, potential data metrics noted include demand changes (e.g., stagger when items come online, soft starts, or using variable frequency drives) and reductions in energy waste (e.g., look at what is running that does not need to run). Notably, these efforts translate into an ability to provide our products at a fair and competitive price by executing our energy reduction plans.
Our involvement in Demand Response programs aligns perfectly with our commitment to sustainability. Curtailing usage during grid emergencies presents a cost-effective alternative to constructing additional power plants, bringing undeniable environmental and community benefits. This commitment to sustainability encompasses Greener Peak Capacity, Renewables Integration, and Enhanced Grid Reliability, all of which contribute to the well-being of the communities we serve.
As we celebrate Energy Efficiency Day, we are extremely proud to shine a spotlight on Demand Response (DR) as a cornerstone of a sustainable energy future. At United Salt Corporation, we wholeheartedly embrace corporate responsibility through our active participation in DR programs. This initiative demonstrates our unwavering dedication to fostering a greener, more efficient, and resilient energy landscape for a brighter tomorrow.