Southern California Edison (SCE) has announced the integration of an estimated 1,118 MW of demand response resources into California’s wholesale energy markets.
Demand response resources are most useful during peak periods of energy consumption, such as hot summer days, to meet unexpectedly high electricity demand or to help alleviate stress on the grid during emergency conditions.
The 1,118 MW of demand response exceeds the capacity of most of the state’s large electric generating plants and is made up of the aggregation of more than 320,000 SCE customers participating in demand response programs. Individually, these customers would be too small and not allowed to participate in these markets.
These programs serve SCE’s residential, commercial and industrial customers who, in exchange for bill reductions, have agreed to reduce their energy consumption when called upon to do so and in that way ease the stress on the electric system, especially in times of peak power demand.
“SCE has worked diligently with the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to resolve challenging technical and process issues to bring these resources to market,” said Marc Ulrich, SCE vice president of Customer Programs and Services. “We are committed to the use of clean, environmentally friendly resources in meeting California’s electric needs, and we are very proud to partner with our customers to help improve the reliability of the system.”
This is a significant milestone for SCE since the effort leverages the participation of thousands of customers to provide additional benefits to all Californians. Yet participation in the wholesale market, done this way, does not require any additional effort by customers beyond signing up for the program of their choice.
SCE has completed the first phase of integrating its demand response resources into the wholesale markets and will work closely with the CAISO, California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, and other industry stakeholders to develop rules that will allow for the market integration of the remaining 20 percent of SCE’s portfolio.
The full integration of SCE’s demand response portfolio into CAISO markets will result in a more efficient energy market for California and increased reliability for all customers. Revenue generated by this participation in the markets will help offset the prices that customers pay for power bought on their behalf by the utility.