Communication Requirements for Price-Based Grid Coordination
Meeting ambitious goals for carbon reduction and supporting an electric grid with high levels of renewable energy supply will require significant flexibility from the demand side. This paper outlines a system architecture and communication technology infrastructure to enable dynamic pricing to be used to finely tune coordination between the grid and its customers. Taking a cue from the success of Internet architecture, this system — Price-Based Grid Coordination — emphasizes simplicity and universality. It enables a wide variety of ways for prices and other signals to pass from the grid to individual flexible loads, including multiple possible locations for the intelligence that combines price signals with device functional needs. The paper includes a reference data model to describe how information from the utility level can be conveyed to customer devices, but independent of any particular protocol. The paper also summarizes technology standards development needs, and reviews research needs to address the full spectrum of coordination scenarios.