Northwest Open Automated Demand Response Technology Demonstration Project

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The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) Demand Response Research Center (DRRC) demonstrated and evaluated open automated demand response (OpenADR) communication infrastructure to reduce winter morning and summer afternoon peak electricity demand in commercial buildings the Seattle area. LBNL performed this demonstration for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in the Seattle City Light (SCL) service territory at five sites: Seattle Municipal Tower, Seattle University, McKinstry, and two Target stores.

This report describes the process and results of the demonstration.

OpenADR is an information exchange model that uses a client-server architecture to automate demand-response (DR) programs. These field tests evaluated the feasibility of deploying fully automated DR during both winter and summer peak periods. DR savings were evaluated for several building systems and control strategies.

This project studied DR during hot summer afternoons and cold winter mornings, both periods when electricity demand is typically high. This is the DRRC project team’s first experience using automation for year-round DR resources and evaluating the flexibility of commercial buildings’ end-use loads to participate in DR in dual-peaking climates. The lessons learned contribute to understanding end-use loads that are suitable for dispatch at different times of the year.

The project was funded by BPA and SCL.

BPA is a U.S. Department of Energy agency headquartered in Portland, Oregon and serving the Pacific Northwest. BPA operates an electricity transmission system and markets wholesale electrical power at cost from federal dams, one non-federal nuclear plant, and other non-federal hydroelectric and wind energy generation facilities. Created by the citizens of Seattle in 1902, SCL is the second-largest municipal utility in America. SCL purchases approximately 40% of its electricity and the majority of its transmission from BPA through a preference contract. SCL also provides ancillary services within its own balancing authority. The relationship between BPA and SCL creates a unique opportunity to create DR programs that address both BPA’s and SCL’s markets simultaneously.

Although simultaneously addressing both market could significantly increase the value of DR programs for BPA, SCL, and the end user, establishing program parameters that maximize this value is challenging because of complex contractual arrangements and the absence of a central Independent System Operator or Regional Transmission Organization in the northwest.

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