ORIGINAL REPORTING: Distributed New Energy Ready To Serve The Power System
Renewables' variability sends wary utilities from traditional DR to DER and load flexibility; New technologies can expand utilities' once-limited options, allowing control of load with customer-sited resources to balance variable generation, but utilities say they need incentives.
Herman K. Trabish | Aug. 14, 2019 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: DER as system support continue to grow in significance on major utility power systems across the country.
Traditional Demand Response (DR) serves supply-demand imbalances, but today's variable renewables and distributed energy resources (DER) make imbalances more common and new load flexibility allows utilities to adjust loads down instead of increasing generation. Adjustable smart thermostats for air conditioning (A/C) and heating, grid integrated water heating, and managed electric vehicle (EV) charging will be gateways to a DR market that adds residential DER to traditional DR using commercial -industrial customers' load, according to a new Brattle report. This more flexible load can protect against variability from rising levels of solar and wind generation. And it's that residential segment that will come to dominate the DR market in the next 10 years.
New marketing approaches and rates with price signals will accelerate customer adoption of DER, utilities and other power sector analysts agreed. But utilities and regulators must confront technical and market complexities to enable this transformation. Technical complexities include getting the necessary system hardware and software in place. Market complexities include providing regulatory guidance to utilities, putting incentives to adopt DER in place for customers, and giving third parties the opportunity to act as DER aggregators. Nearly 200 GW of cost-effective load flexibility from existing DR and new DER could meet up to 20% of the estimated 2030 U.S. peak load, avoiding over $16 billion annually in system costs, Brattle reported. Existing incentives and technologies can deliver an estimated 120 GW of load flexibility. Solutions for utility operations complexities and market barriers are needed for the other 80 GW…” click here for more