Smart Grid NW Hosts Symposium on Demand Response

Demand response could help the region meet its peak electricity needs

The Council’s Seventh Power Plan found that demand response — when utilities pay customers to use less electricity when the power system is stressed — is the least-cost solution for providing new peaking capacity. It helps balance the system by reducing peak demand, shifting loads, and helping integrate resources like wind and solar into the system.

The Council recommends that at least 600 megawatts be developed to meet the region’s peaking and system adequacy needs. To help make this a reality, Smart Grid Northwest is hosting the Demand Response Symposium, in collaboration with the Council, the Bonneville Power Administration, regional utilities, demand response providers, and other stakeholders.

The symposium will also include the participation of the Pacific Northwest Demand Response Project, which since 2005 has been the primary forum for researchers, regulators, and utilities to share information, build best practices, and overcome barriers to demand response in the Northwest. The conference is targeted for leaders at regional utilities who want to learn more about developing and implementing demand response.

Follow updates on the symposium on social media using hashtag #NWDR16

The Council has recently formed a demand response advisory committee to help the region develop the recommended demand response resources identified in its power plan. It also plans to form a system integration forum to coordinate its analysis of DR resources, along with other emerging technologies such as energy storage, distributed generation, and smart grid advances, which could integrate existing resources more effectively across the grid. As the region continues to focus on lowering carbon emissions, evaluating the value of these alternative resources, and how best to implement them if they prove cost-effective, will be important to maintaining the reliability and affordability of our power system.