Demand Response Research Center - Final Report

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In response to electric supply problems stemming from the failure of the restructured California electricity market in the late 1990s, the California Energy Commission sponsored the founding of the Demand Response Research Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Its purpose was to develop ways to reduce electricity demand in response to price, monetary incentives, or utility directives so as to maintain reliable electric service or avoid high electricity prices. From its inception in 2003, until 2015, the period covered by this report, researchers at the Center developed ways to automate demand response. They developed a communication protocol known as OpenADR to enable transmission of demand response signals between suppliers and users of electricity. OpenADR has since become a US national standard, in use in over 1300 facilities and in 10 countries around the world. Researchers at the Center developed methods for energy users to vary electric loads in response to OpenADR signals by automatically controlling air conditioning, lighting, and process loads in buildings, industrial facilities, and agricultural operations. By 2013, working with utilities, they had enabled over 250 megawatts of load shed capability. They developed free public-access software tools to allow implementers to quickly estimate the potential for facilities to shed loads, and secure software to allow consumers to access near real-time data from smart meters. They contributed to national and international efforts to create standards for a ‘smart grid’ that is resilient and can accommodate new demands such as intermittent distributed renewable energy sources and electric vehicle battery charging. They helped form an industry organization known as the OpenADR Alliance that in 2015 has over 130 members, including all major facility and industrial control companies. Finally, they created a record of these efforts in the dozens of research papers that are referenced and linked in this report.

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