June 21, 2007 — Castwell Products L.L.C., a Chicago-area ductile and gray iron foundry, has engaged Microfield Group's EnergyConnect Inc. to provide "demand response solutions" —i.e., energy automation services. EnergyConnect solutions "engage energy market participants, independent system operators, regional transmission organizations, and electric utilities."
Castwell, Skokie, IL, is a holding of the Hunt Investment Corp., Dallas. Company president Charlie Hoffman explained, “We put a high value on the fact that demand response participation is entirely consistent with our ISO 14001 certification. Under ISO 14001, we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment, and we see working within EnergyConnect’s demand response solutions as an excellent way of doing that." He said the service will help the electric grid and the Castwell operations by managing electric consumption patterns proactively.
Castwell targets niche markets, providing engineering/technical capabilities, short lead-times, product quality, and reliability. Its products include truck and diesel engine components, and castings for the petroleum, aftermarket light-duty vehicle, aerospace, mining, hydraulics, and agriculture markets.
Brian Gallagher, a vice president of EnergyConnect, stated: “Castwell is our first foundry in the Chicago area, though we’ve had great results with similar facilities on the East Coast. I’m most pleased about the fact that, with our software allowing daily bidding and evaluation of meter data, Castwell was participating in demand response and getting paid to support the grid, within days of signing our contract. This spring, we’ve seen market prices range much higher than they were at the same time last year, so Castwell has joined our Demand Response initiative at a great time.”