Demand response and energy efficiency hold the key to California’s electric power system, so says the California Independent System Operator in a roadmap released this week. Smart grid technologies such as DR and EE are key elements in the “Demand Response and Energy Efficiency Roadmap: Maximizing Preferred Resources.”
The California ISO collaborated with the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission and industry stakeholders. The policies are geared to enable distributed energy resources such as microgrids, rooftop solar, electric vehicles and energy storage facilities.
“There will come a day in the not-too-distant future when the policies, tools and processes in place will transform the electric grid in California into a highly-sophisticated two-way network in which nearly everyone can contribute to the reliable and efficient management of a greener electricity grid,” said Steve Berberich, President and CEO of the California ISO.
The roadmap sets plans to lower market barriers that currently prevent DR/EE from competing alongside conventional resources.
The roadmap identifies four integrated pathways essential to bringing online a robust set of DR and EE solutions over the next three years:
1) Load Reshaping Path that focuses on using incentives to modify consumption patterns to “flatten” demand, thus reducing the need for peaking generation capacity.
2) Resource Sufficiency Path that ensures enough resources with needed operational characteristics available at the right places and at the right times.
3) Operations Path that makes the best use of any and all resources (demand and supply) and involves the ISO changing some existing policies as well as modifying or developing new market products to expand DR market participation.
4) Monitoring Path that provides mechanisms for monitoring progress and outcomes to ensure that the initiatives accomplish their objectives on time.
DR and EE as well as other “preferred resources” play key roles in the joint agency Southern CA Reliability Plan that outlines the ideal resources to replace the now-retired San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station as well as the potential loss of about 6,000 MW of aging coastal power plants.