Participation through Automation: Fully Automated Critical Peak Pricing in Commercial Buildings
California electric utilities have been exploring the use of dynamic critical peak prices (CPP) and other demand response programs to help reduce peaks in customer electric loads. CPP is a tariff design to promote demand response. Levels of automation in DR can be defined as follows. Manual Demand Response involves a potentially labor-intensive approach such as manually turning off or changing comfort set points at each equipment switch or controller. Semi-Automated Demand Response involves a pre-programmed response strategy initiated by a person via centralized control system. Fully Automated Demand Response does not involve human intervention, but is initiated at a home, building, or facility through receipt of an external communications signal. The receipt of the external signal initiates pre-programmed demand response strategies. We refer to this as Auto-DR.
This paper describes the development, testing, and results from automated CPP (Auto-CPP) as part of a utility project in California. The paper presents the project description and test methodology. This is followed by a discussion of Auto-DR strategies used in the field test buildings. We present a sample Auto-CPP load shape case study, and a selection of the Auto-CPP response data from September 29, 2005. If all twelve sites reached their maximum saving simultaneously, a total of approximately 2 MW of DR is available from these twelve sites that represent about two million ft2. The average DR was about half that value, at about 1 MW. These savings translate to about 0.5 to 1.0 W/ft2 of demand reduction. We are continuing field demonstrations and economic evaluations to pursue increasing penetrations of automated DR that has demonstrated ability to provide a valuable DR resource for California.