The “Greenness” of Demand Response Programs and Demand-Side Ancillary Services

August 15, 2014 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

The increasingly frequent extreme weathers and growing penetration of renewable energy both call for more and better demand response (DR) programs.  This presentation describes our recent work on both the energy and environmental aspects of DR programs in building systems.

On the environmental systems side, we investigated the implications of behind-the-meter generation (BTM) generation in DR programs. Specifically, we evaluated the impacts of NOx emissions from BTM generators enrolled in NYISO’s main DR programs. Through analyzing the DR program enrollment data, DR event records, ozone air quality monitoring data and emission characteristics of the generators, we found that the emissions from BTM generation contributes to the exceedance of national ambient air quality standards during the ozone seasons, and very likely accounts for a substantial fraction of total NOx emissions from electricity generation. An important policy implication is that the absence of up-to-date regulations on BTM generators has offset the current efforts to reduce the emissions from peaking power plants.

On the energy systems side, we studied, through detailed electricity markets and building energy simulations, the potential of using building thermal energy systems (TES) to provide demand-side spinning reserves services, which was then shown to be both technically feasible and cost-competitive under the current market structures. Furthermore, we attempted to derive an optimal control policy for building systems equipped with TES considering dynamic electricity prices, DR programs from both wholesale and retail electricity markets and building occupancy comfort. Our work emphasizes the importance of proper representations of demand charges in developing similar optimal control policies.

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