IntriCon floor

Connexus Energy member business could receive annual credits from $54,000-$76,000 through the Peak-Shaving Generation Credit Rider Program

IntriCon is a Connexus Energy member business located in Vadnais Heights that designs and manufactures miniature hearing healthcare and medical devices. Upon installation of a 1000 kW backup generator at their facility, IntriCon enrolled in Connexus Energy’s Peak-Shaving Generation Credit Rider Program in late June 2019. Their enrollment in this program will result in long-term energy and cost savings for both IntriCon and Connexus.

Jennifer Sweeney, IntriCon’s key account representative, began talking with Plant Manager Bill Hokkanen in October 2017 to help him realize how installing a generator and participating in this program would benefit his business. While Connexus Energy’s power is very reliable, an unplanned power outage during one of IntriCon’s production processes could be very costly. Using IntriCon’s historical energy use data, Jennifer calculated multiple scenarios of estimated generator credits IntriCon could receive based on percentages of their average load ranging from 50% to 80%. According to her estimates, IntriCon’s annual credits for participating in this program could be anywhere from $54,000-$76,000. Additionally, IntriCon’s participation in this program could result in estimated wholesale demand savings to Connexus Energy of more than $175,000 per year. 

Jennifer worked closely with the generator supplier, NRG, and IntriCon to determine what size generator would best fit IntriCon’s backup generation needs. Jennifer also coordinated with internal Connexus Energy staff to meet the engineering, distribution and metering requirements of installing a backup generator. 

Member businesses participating in the Peak-Shaving Generation Credit Rider Program receive a credit on their monthly bill for allowing Connexus to run their generators during peak demand times, which reduces the demand charges Connexus Energy pays to Great River Energy. GRE determines when generators will be run, based on system-wide demand for electricity. This usually occurs on the hottest, most humid days of summer when air conditioning use is high. Generators are typically run for 6-8 hours, but can be run up to 12 hours per day, not to exceed 300 hours per year. In 2019, GRE called for generators to run three times; most notably on Jan. 30, during the polar vortex. This was the first time since 1997 that GRE called for generators to run during the winter. Currently, there are 25 Connexus Energy members with 48 generators enrolled in the Peak-Shaving Generation Credit Rider program. 

To reduce their energy consumption and save on their electricity bills, Jennifer and the other key account representatives also work with Connexus Energy member businesses to make energy-efficient lighting, cooling, process and equipment choices.