U.S. Wholesale DER Aggregation: Q2 2016

by Elta Kolo

In recent years, consumer demand flexibility, known as demand response (DR), has increasingly become a key feature in the design and operation of electricity systems. By linking end-user consumption and production to dynamic system management, these DR programs have achieved significant operational efficiencies, such as mitigating real-time constraints and lowering wholesale prices and end customer costs.

This dynamic next-generation energy system requires further market evolution which fully leverages distributed energy resources (DERs) and other participatory grid edge technologies. Traditionally controlled behind-the-meter resources include load control, thermal storage and on-site generators. However, growing interest in aggregation services is pushing players, independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organization (RTOs) to look beyond traditional behind-the-meter management. New approaches will unlock value streams for up-and-coming technologies such as distributed generation, electric vehicles and battery storage, and accordingly socialize the cost of energy delivery.

Select National Demand Response Aggregators Registered Within ISO/RTO Territories

To achieve these outcomes, evolving market models have begun to integrate DERs in short- and long-term planning at all network levels. This report provides data and analysis of the ISO/RTO markets where various distributed resources are making headway, assessing current program developments and opportunities. Overall insights are also offered with respect to market size and outlook for demand-side flexibility going forward. It is the second report in a new quarterly series on U.S. DER aggregation.

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Elta Kolo Analyst, Grid Edge

Elta is a Grid Edge Analyst at GTM Research working on demand-side management in U.S. electricity markets. Prior to joining GTM, Elta pursued a joint PhD funded by the European Commission on Sustainable Energy Technologies and Strategies at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. During her PhD she researched demand response policies for the implementation of smart grids, and has presented her work at both U.S. and European conferences in addition to publishing in international scholarly journals. Elta holds an MSc in Economics and Management of Network Industries from Spain and France and a BA in Economics from Union College (NY).

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