A new study cites gigawatt-hours’ worth of opportunity in customer energy flexibility, but little opportunity for old-school load shedding.
California has gigawatt-hours of grid-balancing available in homes, offices, factories and farms that can “shape” and “shift” their energy usage, and a smaller but still valuable market for fast-responding “shimmy” resources. But it has very little demand for “shed,” or conventional demand response — unless it can capture value at the distribution-grid level.
These are the findings from a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study, now going before energy regulators and the public, which envisions a ground-up reorganization of how California does demand response. This week, the Department of Energy lab will release the first round of public comments on its latest draft, giving utilities and the demand response industry a chance to weigh in on it.
Known as the Demand Response Potential Study, it’s built on terabytes of smart meter data from California’s three big investor-owned utilities, and uses more than 200,000 customer load profiles to determine just how much flexible customer load is available at different costs. In fact, LBNL has been able to disaggregate this data down to individual loads such as heating and air conditioning, water pumps and industrial processes, said Jennie Potter, one of the LBNL scientists involved in the study, in a Thursday briefing.
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