ORIGINAL REPORTING: Seven ways New Energy can make wholesale power markets more reliable
Seven ways to make wholesale power markets more reliable; DOE wants to support coal and nuclear, but grid operators and experts say greater power system flexibility is what's needed.
Herman K. Trabish, Nov. 7, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The strategies proposed here for using distributed energy resources (DER) to increase system flexibility are gaining acceptance as their economic and technical viability become more certain.
The Department of Energy still wants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to provide supports for coal and nuclear plants they say provide critical resilience and reliability services to the grid. But preserving that baseload generation is not likely to enhance those grid attributes, recent analysis argues. A better approach is to increase the flexibility of the grid by promoting a greater penetration of variable generation and distributed energy resources (DERs), according to “A Roadmap For Finding Flexibility In Wholesale Markets” from Energy Innovation (EI). The report details seven of the lowest cost ways to make grids more flexible and reliable.
EI advocates for greater power system flexibility, which grid operators already use to deal with supply variability caused by nuclear plant maintenance and unpredictable fossil fuel plant outages. With more rapid response flexibility services on the system, they could similarly deal with more variability from renewable resources and DERs, the authors argue. With adequate fast response flexibility, transmission system operators (TSOs) can aggregate dispatchable demand-side resources, which might be anything from “advanced vehicle charging to electric water heaters,” to "act as a giant battery," EI reports. This type of flexibility can be achieved by seven “market-based mechanisms” that allow utilities to use DERs to balance supply and demand, EI argues… click here for more
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