Facilitating Renewable Energy
Variable resources such as solar and wind energy benefit from strong demand response programs, because they can help the grid adjust to meet cycles of sunshine and wind. We integrate our technical expertise with electricity market analyses to identify market and policy barriers and research directions that can make the cost of market participation in demand response more consistent with added market value.
In particular, we have evaluated the expanding role of ancillary services markets including the value of demand response for these services, the rules for market entry, and the effects that the greater electricity market structure and regulatory context has on market participation. Research focuses on (1) how the price and reliability signals can be communicated reliably, (2) how facilities can respond automatically when prices vary hour-to-hour, day-to-day and over time, and (3) how these concepts can be used to improve grid stability.
In the future, the speed of telemetry and response is expected to become a critical element for grid operations as demand response plays a moderating role with imbalances between electric energy supply and demand at increasingly smaller time intervals. Our research has identified telecommunication systems that are fast enough to provide a signaling infrastructure for existing demand response programs with day-ahead and day-of notification for events, and we are exploring what is required for even faster responses.