- Demand response resource potential continues to grow, and according to federal regulators potential peak reductions from RTO and ISO programs reached 28,798 MW in 2013, a 9.3% increase over 2012 levels.
- Potential peak reductions from customers participating in RTO and ISO programs also increased as a percentage of total peak demand, ticking up from 5.6% of peak demand in 2012 to 6.1% in 2013, Argus reports.
- The future of wholesale demand response remains in question following a series of legal decisions and challenges last year that vacated FERC Order 745.
FERC staff issued an assessment of demand response, finding potential peak reduction from RTO and ISO demand response programs increased by 9.3% or 2,452 MW since 2012, to reach a total potential peak reduction of 28,798 MW in 2013.
The report said potential peak reduction increased by 2,600 MW in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator territory from 2012 to 2013, largely due to increased demand response from behind-the-meter generation and load modifying resource programs run by utilities. "This increase in demand response participation, coupled with a decline in peak demand in the region due to milder summer temperatures, resulted in potential peak reduction as a percentage of peak demand increasing by almost 3% in 2013, compared to 2012," the report found.
MISO reported potential peak reductions of 10.2% of peak demand in 2013.
The report also noted how demand response resources helped the grid cope with a cold snap in January 2014. In the eastern United States, two stretches of extreme cold in that month resulted in high demand, generation outages, and fuel disruptions.
FERC said PJM activated about 2,000 MW of demand response for several hours during one cold weather event in early January and over 2,500 MW for several hours in another later that month.
"Although demand resources were not obligated to respond during this period, close to 25% of registered demand response resources responded," the report said. "PJM states that this experience demonstrates the year-round value of demand response."