Demand Response


The advent of the smart grid has brought about many challenges and opportunities that allow the operation of the traditional electric power systems to be more secure, reliable and efficient. The smart grid is a vision that makes possible, at the transmission and distribution levels,  the integration of various distributed energy sources, smart sensors and frequency monitoring devices, intelligent substation and distribution equipment, as well as, at the customer level, the use of smart appliances at home. Recently, demand response has gained tremendous attention as it can potentially benefit power systems by relieving the system stress conditions and possibly deferring or avoiding construction of large-scale power generation and transmission infrastructures. US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has published a national action plan on demand response in 2010, in which several technical research issues have been identified as knowledge gaps. These issues include for example:

  • Better understanding of the optimal amount of consumer versus demand response provider control of appliances.
  • A study of how long demand response resources can be expected to provide resource adequacy and reliability benefits compared with other resources, such as generation, transmission, and storage.
  • A study of how demand response resources can be dispatched to support and balance variable generation from renewable energy.
  • On-going research at VT-ARI places an emphasis on the design of the demand response strategy that takes into consideration consumer’s comfort, convenience and privacy at the power distribution level. Studies are being performed to determine the impact of demand response on consumer convenience and system reliability indices.