PG&E’s Excess Supply Demand Response Program: A Preview of DR’s Future - [an Energy Central Power Perspective™]
- Jun 24, 2019 4:01 pm GMT
For decades, utilities have been using demand response programs as a way to eliminate or shift energy demand away from peak hours as a strategy to ensure supply did not get overstretched. This paradigm of demand response (DR) has been somewhat successful to manage energy loads, but it’s also been somewhat stagnant. But the possibility for load shifting and engaging customers in this process has always been immense, and arguably underutilized in the utility industry.
Recognizing the opportunity to transform the DR space, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) teamed up with Olivine to create the PG&E Excess Supply Demand Response Program (XSP). This multi-year pilot initiative demonstrated the capabilities of DR resources to not only decrease power load but also consume energy, both acting as a service of the grid in a way that addresses the intermittency of an energy mix increasingly powered by renewable sources. As solar and wind make up a greater portion of the grid’s supply, those resources’ inherent intermittent nature present challenges of lining up supply with demand, as peak renewable generation comes during the middle of the day while peak demand hours are later in the early evening.
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