2006-2015 Research Summary of Demand Response Potential in California Industry, Agriculture and Water Sectors

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In 2006, the Industrial Demand Response Team of the Demand Response Research Center (DRRC) started its research into the potential for Demand Response (DR) and Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR) in the Industrial, Agricultural, and Water (IAW) sectors.

DR involves electricity end-use customers reducing their electricity usage over a given time period (shed), or shifting that usage to another time period (shift), in response to a price signal, a financial incentive, an environmental condition, or a reliability signal.[1] Two approaches to DR are manual DR programs and Auto-DR programs. California industry currently participates primarily in manual DR programs (e.g., demand bidding, base interruptible programs). However, Auto DR, in which loads are shed automatically in response to grid control signals (unless the customer opts-out), has the potential to be used for ancillary services, which are growing in importance due to the load uncertainty and variability caused by the integration of large shares of renewables. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) is interested in “hardening” demand response across participating sectors through the use of Auto DR. While there have been notable exceptions in some industrial subsectors (e.g., industrial gases, refrigerated warehouses), only a small number of industrial sites are participating in Auto-DR.

The industrial sector provides opportunities for large sheds or shifts from relatively few facilities. Through years of industrial DR studies, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) conducted research about wastewater treatment, agricultural irrigation, refrigerated warehouse, data center, cement, and dairy processing industries. This research identified several opportunities and barriers for achieving Auto-DR in the industries of interest. The outcomes of the past decade of industrial DR research are summarized in this report.

[1] California Public Utilities Commission

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