Pilot project lets homes bid into the CAISO market
- Schneider Electric and OhmConnect are teaming up on an innovative demand response program that will allow residences to be aggregated and bid into the California ISO market without any connection to a utility, Greentech Media reports.
- Early participants to the program who are large energy users have been able to earn up to $200 annually as revenues based on the ISO's 15-minute locational marginal price.
- Using new rules in California allowing direct demand response participation by aggregators, the companies will offer homeowners discounted, integrated home energy equipment in exchange for utilizing their flexible load.
California's new demand response rules are on display in a new program being managed by San Francisco-based OhmConnect -- and as Greentech points out, it's innovative on two fronts.
First, the project uses the state's new direct participation rules that allows demand response services to access the California ISO's markets without participation by utilities. The program is aggregating individual homes to bid into the market, generating revenue for homeowners with a flexible load.
“This is a first-of-its-kind pilot, and one that we’re particularly excited about since it opens up the opportunity to directly control some of the largest and most predictable load resources in California,” Curtis Tongue, co-founder of OhmConnect, told Greentech.
The program gives homes access to Schneider’s energy management devices, which Wiser home-energy management devices, which include the usual connected thermostats and smart plugs, but also can access larger loads like pool pumps and electric vehicle charging stations. OhmConnect can then aggregate those devices into a predictable, flexible load.
According to the company's website, a typical customer can earn anywhere from $50 to $150 per year using the program.
Though California lagged behind in demand response action, the state has undergone an intense examination of its energy regulations and has made changes to modernize its grid and integrate cleaner energy loads. The direct participation rules are expected to accelerate demand response in the state, and with revenues from CAISO, could shorten the time needed for homeowners to pay for installing energy upgrades.
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