Home > Research Areas > Load as a Resource > Key Accomplishments > Demand Response Spinning Reserve Demonstration Project

Load as a Resource

Demand Response Spinning Reserve Demonstration Project

In summer 2006, CERTS will conduct the first-ever demonstration of the use of aggregated demand-side resources to provide the electric system reliability resource known as spinning reserve. Providing spinning reserve with demand-side resources will arm grid operators at California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and Southern California Edison (SCE) with a powerful new tool to help to prevent rolling blackouts and improve system reliability.

Rolling blackouts are called when system operators run short of operating reserves. The most important operating reserve is spinning reserve which is the first line of defense relied on by operators when they respond to system emergencies, such as the unplanned loss of a large generator or major inter-tie. Using controllable demand to provide spinning reserve will increase the total amount of operating reserves available to the operator and thereby circumvent situations when they would otherwise run short and have to call for rolling blackouts.

Customers in a specially-metered geographic region of SCE's air conditioning load-cycling program, called the Summer Discount Program, will be able to join the demonstration voluntarily. During the demonstration, the Southern California Edison will order short-duration load curtailments on the customers who sign up for the tests at pre-scheduled times during summer weekday afternoons. The curtailments will last between five to 20 minutes each between 2 and 6 p.m.

California ISO staff and other participants will observe load curtailments on a secure, external website that can read and broadcast the specially metered data in real time. CERTS researchers will also install high time-resolution data monitoring devices to record loads (and indoor temperatures) on a statistical sample of individual air conditioning cycling units for further analysis of the AC usage patterns and of the effectiveness of the pre-scheduled interruptions.

This demonstration is being funded by the California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research Program.

Demonstration of Spinning Reserve Supplied by Aggregated Load

Figure 1. Demonstration of Spinning Reserve Supplied by Aggregated Load


Joseph Eto
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
(510) 486-7284