T&D World Magazine

San Diego Gas & Electric Enacts Demand Response Wholesale Market Pilot

San Diego Gas & Electric’s Demand Response Wholesale Market Pilot (DRWMP) program allows electricity customers to bid demand response directly into the California wholesale electric market.

Siemens Energy will help customers participate in the DRWMP as a load aggregator through SureGrid, the company’s Intelligent Load Management solution. SureGrid uses a cloud-computing platform connected to web-enabled building controls to present load characteristics to wholesale electricity markets that are equivalent to traditional gas or coal-fired peaking power plants. The Siemens solution bundles and presents to the utility a portfolio of aggregated end-user loads so customers can be bid directly into California’s wholesale energy market and compete directly against physical electricity generating assets.

Demand response, until now, has been undervalued as a grid management resource, potentially risky for commercial customers because it was perceived as unreliable, non-verifiable and one-way. With the DRWMP, temporary load reduction events for participating buildings will now largely be based on which electricity resource has the lowest price at any given moment in time, regardless of whether or not the resource is an actual power plant or a virtual one provided by DR.

Siemens SureGrid platform automatically monitors building operating conditions and occupancy in real time based on pre-defined business rules, which optimizes load shedding and shifting while maintaining comfortable interior environments for occupants at each location. Using networked energy meters installed at each building, the Siemens aggregation engine combines a variety of different building types into a single virtual portfolio, providing a real-time aggregation of load data that is transmitted to the California ISO. As part of utility participation requirements, SureGrid responds to load dispatch requests with virtually no notice, an ability proven during San Diego Gas & Electric’s DRWMP predecessor, the Participating Load Pilot program.

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