ORIGINAL REPORTING: Getting To The Future Of Customer-owned Resources
Hiding in plain sight: Aggregated DERs in wholesale power markets; Distributed resources can't yet compete like traditional generators in US power markets, but demand response products allow them a foot in the door
Herman K. Trabish, July 24, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: Policy to support the wholesale market use of DER is still being developed.
Two California energy storage providers successfully bid aggregations of automated load reductions into the California wholesale market multiple times during a June 2017 heat wave but the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) told Utility Dive that it did not have DER aggregations bidding into its market. The discrepancy is due to terminology. DERs include energy efficiency, behind-the-meter (BTM) storage, and distributed generation like rooftop solar. But they also include traditional demand response, which is the CAISO wholesale market product in which DER are being used. Demand response falls under the California statutory definition of DER and providing demand response is one path to the wholesale market for DER, though only for DER like storage that do not inject power into the grid.
The other path is for aggregators of distributed resources to use the a separate tariff approved by regulators last year. But that introduces the more complicated issue of power delivered back into the grid, Tisdale told Utility Dive. Across the nation, DER providers and grid operators are facing similar issues that prevent aggregated resources from offering their full suite of benefits to the grid. New work to resolve the communications and operational issues could provide a way forward for DER, but in the meantime the resources are getting a foot in the door through the well-established role of demand response providers… click here for more
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