Grid Integration of Aggregated Demand Response, Part 1: Load Availability Profiles and Constraints for the Western Interconnection

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Demand response (DR) has the potential to improve electric grid reliability and reduce system operation costs. However, including DR in grid modeling can be difficult due to its variable and non-traditional response characteristics, compared to traditional generation. Therefore, efforts to value the participation of DR in procurement of grid services have been limited. In this report, we present methods and tools for predicting demand response availability profiles, representing their capability to participate in capacity, energy, and ancillary services. With the addition of response characteristics mimicking those of generation, the resulting profiles will help in the valuation of the participation of demand response through production cost modeling, which informs infrastructure and investment planning.

We present an approach for predicting demand response availability profiles for thirteen end-use loads within the Western Interconnection for the year 2020. For each end-use, we estimate an annual hourly load profile for each of the 36 balancing authority areas. These load profiles are further evaluated and filtered to obtain an estimate of the amount of load available to participate in each of five products (three ancillary services, an energy product, and a capacity product) for each hour of the 2020 calendar year. We supplement these DR availability profiles with expectations on constraints for the duration and frequency of the load responses, in order to best represent the expected electricity customer system, such as their willingness and capability (e.g., equipment) to participate in demand response events. Finally, we discuss the projected theoretical availability for full load participation.

The resulting availability profiles serve as input to a production cost model. In an accompanying report by the same authors (Modeling Energy-Limited Demand Response in a Production Cost Model), the integration of these availability profiles into the production cost model is discussed and the value of their participation is estimated.

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