January 2020 Vol. 75 No. 1

New Products

HOBAS Demand Response Solutions Offers Needed Flexibility

HOBAS Pipe, with its U.S. manufacturing facility in Houston, Texas, and several other plants around the globe, has the distinction of being the world’s only producer of centrifugally cast fiberglass reinforced polymer mortar (CCFRPM) pipes. 

Creating CCFRPM pipes for time-sensitive delivery takes around-the-clock power. Any interruption would mean considerable delays in the production and delivery of materials, and significant financial losses for HOBAS. While maximizing productivity, HOBAS also strives to remain a conscientious member of the community by conserving energy.

Demand Response (DR) is a solution that enhances energy reliability and helps electrical customers reduce their usage during peak time or community emergency, thus reducing electricity demand. An added benefit is that users who activate their DR plans are paid for the energy they curtail during the peak time.

Companies with similar operations may not think DR is possible without sacrificing productivity, but HOBAS’ manufacturing plant has shown it can smoothly transition from grid power to generator, when notified by the grid operator or utility company that:

  • The grid is stressed and approaching a high level
  • Weather events signal potential power outages
  • An emergency or a catastrophic event requires curtailment

While HOBAS has participated in DR since 2005, with the installation of a 2MW Tier II Caterpillar 3516 diesel backup generator, the plant enrolled in a 4CP DR (Coincident Peaks for each of the four summer months) program in 2016. But just months later, its generator became ineligible under new RICE NESHAP1 (Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants) regulations. Recognizing the many benefits of Demand Response and reduced emissions, HOBAS sought an energy solution that would regain DR eligibility and support its unique needs.

The company found a dependable partner in NRG Energy, Inc. John Killgore, HOBAS’ reliability manager, turned to NRG to bring its Tier II generator into compliance with RICE NESHAP standards. NRG experts implemented a retrofit of the exhaust, intake component and CCV (closed crankcase ventilation system). The result was a RICE NESHAP compliance rating and renewed eligibility for Demand Response. With its generator now eligible to run during emergencies and curtailment opportunities, HOBAS enrolled in two DR programs: 4CP and ERCOT ERS 30.

Thanks to daily readiness drills, as well as a reduction action plan (RAP) also provided by NRG, the process of switching to the generator has become seamless and successful. In October 2018, HOBAS participated in its first DR event since the retrofit completion. Over a 50-minute time period, it transferred 1,000 kW off the grid and onto its generator. As more DR events arise, HOBAS will continue to help stabilize energy for the grid, benefitting the entire community.

“By retrofitting the HOBAS Pipe generator, NRG provided a solution with far-reaching effects,” said John Frank, account manager, NRG curtailment specialist. “Not only did HOBAS get back into earning revenue in the demand response program, but it also lowered its emissions and became a partner Houston can rely on for energy stability.”


HOBAS, (800) 856-7473, hobaspipe.com

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