Integrating Renewable Resources in California and the Role of Automated Demand Response
This scoping study summarizes the challenges with integrating wind and solar generation into the California’s electricity grid. These challenges include:
- Smoothing intra-hour variability
- Absorbing excess renewable energy during over-generation periods
- Addressing morning and evening ramping periods
In addition, there are technical challenges to integrating retail demand response (DR) triggered by the wholesale conditions into the CAISO markets. The study describes the DR programs available to the consumers through the utilities in California and CAISO’s ancillary services market because an integration of the wholesale and retail DR requires an understanding of these different offerings and the costs associated with acquiring them. Demand-side active and passive storage systems are proposed as technologies that may be used to mitigate the effects of intermittence due to renewable generation. Commercial building technologies as well as industrial facilities with storage capability are identified as targets for the field tests. Two systems used for ancillary services communications are identified as providing the triggers for DR enablement. Through the field tests, issues related to communication, automation and flexibility of demand-side resources will be explored and the performance of technologies that participate in the field tests will be evaluated. The major outcome of this research is identifying and defining flexibility of DR resources and optimized use of these resources to respond to grid conditions.