San Francisco Distributed Energy Resources Testbed

June 1, 2007 - 12:00pm
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This paper reports the results of a two-year research effort to implement and evaluate the impacts of energy efficiency (EE), demand-response (DR) and distributed generation (DG) measures - collectively termed "distributed energy resources" (DER) -- in Southeast San Francisco. The study focused specifically on two distribution feeders: a ”private-sector” feeder serving a mix of less than 200 kilowatt (kW) commercial customers, predominantly refrigerated warehouses; and a ”public-sector” feeder serving a publicly-owned sewage treatment plant with a 1.95 MW cogeneration facility and 255 kW solar array. San Francisco Community Power, a nonprofit community-based organization, packaged various DER measures and persistently approached businesses that had previously not fully participated in municipal- and utility-sponsored DER programs. The research found that key barriers to commercial customer adoption of DER programs sponsored by vendors, municipalities and utilities include a lack of trust in the asserted cost-savings; poor communication that tended to emphasize measures' technical attributes as opposed to beneficial outcomes; and a laborious enrollment processes.

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