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Energy Management

Flipping the paradigm of demand response with smart devices

Earlier this summer, I hosted a webinar on how Smart Lighting can help a utility do more than save energy – it can target its Energy Efficiency to times of high stress on the grid.  If you would like to watch the webinar, it can be found here.

Utility peak is becoming a pressing concern because Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) and customer facing Distributed Energy Resources (DER) are changing utility load profiles.  In certain localities, renewable penetration is dragging net load profiles downward at midday, creating negative pricing, and increasing the slope of the evening ramping period, creating a complex problem that the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has referred to as the “Duck Curve”.  If you would like more duck curve detail, here is a link to a previous post that details this problem.  To learn more about the speed of VER and DER penetration, please visit the DNV GL Energy Transition Outlook.

The Duck Curve specifically, and VRE integration more generally, create a three-pronged engineering problem for system operators.

Three Major Problems

The complexity of renewable integration makes a single “silver bullet” solution unlikely. To effectively integrate renewables into the grid, utilities and grid operators need more flexible resources.  The traditional approach to balancing the hourly fluctuations between supply and demand has been met by only supply-side solutions that ensure the system has enough generation online to meet uncontrolled customer demand.  However, the rise of Smart Devices, which are inherently connected and networked, are showing the promise to flip this paradigm.  Devices that can automatically respond to utility Demand Response (DR) signals curtail customer loads in a way that balances customer demand with the availability of supply.  Additionally, most Smart Devices are also inherently energy efficient.  This presents the utility with the opportunity to integrate EE and DR into a program offering – one that makes the grid more dynamic and counts towards EE goals that may be set by regulators.

For this multi-part blog series, we will focus on defining Integrated EE & DR and explaining the types of customer loads that can be curtailed.  We will then dive into the technical aspects of Automated Demand Response (ADR) to show how this technology produces benefits for both the customer and the utility.  Finally, we will explore the values that come from integrating EE & DR – hint, everyone is a winner!

What do you think?  Please like, share and comment over your network.  While I enjoy sharing my opinion, my favorite part about blogging is hearing from all of you.

For more information on integrated EE/DR please visit our Knowledge Hub.  For specific information about our Smart Lighting Solutions program, please visit our Knowledge Hub.

DNV GL has successfully designed and implemented Smart Lighting Systems projects on behalf of our utility clients for four years. Our team has significant project experience in both retrofitting and new construction of lighting projects. We work through the project life-cycle to identify, justify and evaluate energy saving measures and provide post-installation engineering review to verify savings.

Our team is available to work directly with large institutions to assist them with Smart Lighting Systems projects. For more information, please contact Wesley Whited. Wesley Whited is a Senior Consultant for Smart Lighting Systems at DNV GL. Mr. Whited has seven years’ experience in the commercial lighting market ranging from project management to sales. Mr. Whited is a graduate of West Virginia University (WVU) and holds a MBA from Capital University in Columbus, OH

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