ORIGINAL REPORTING: The new demand response and the future of the power sector
The new demand response and the future of the power sector; Utilities and system operators can do more than lower load with demand response.
Herman K. Trabish, Dec. 11, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The expansion of demand response is a strong indicator of a growing connectedness of the power system that will allow more and better use of New Energy.
Demand response (DR) was once an uncertain offer from a few big power users and residential customers to reduce load when notified by utilities or transmission system operators (TSOs). But there are now more than 13,600 MW of DR enrolled by utilities and about as much available to TSOs. Utilities reliably dispatched 78% of enrolled DR capacity — almost 10,700 MW — in 2016. DR's role is expanding and its identity is changing. It is now “reductions, increases, or shifts” in load, according to the “2017 Utility Demand Response Market Snapshot. Those load changes allow utilities and TSOs to respond to “time-varying changes in the cost of producing energy, shortages of distribution, transmission, or generation capacity, or unusually high or low voltage or frequency,” the paper reports.
Furthermore, the new DR, which incorporates a new toolbox of distributed energy resources (DER), is increasingly being used by TSOs as a market product alongside generation, according to “Demand Response; U.S. Wholesale DER Aggregation, Q3 2017. Some TSOs now offer capacity market, emergency response or ancillary services opportunities for DR, the quarterly update reports. But MISO, PJM and NYISO have joined CAISO and ERCOT in evaluating how system operators can take advantage of aggregated DER-as-DR. The Market Snapshot shows DR also expanding on the distribution system. Forward-thinking utilities have been taking advantage of the load-reducing potential of air conditioning (AC) and water heaters for decades. But now more than 40% of utility respondents offer AC programs and 16% offer water heater programs. And many utilities are moving to two-way communications technologies to improve participation, with 40% using email, 27% text messages and 12% using social media. Smart thermostat programs have been initiated by 24% of respondents and 9% offer behavioral DR programs… click here for more