Incorporating Demand Response into Western Interconnection Transmission Planning

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This report documents the demand response (DR)-related analyses developed by LBNL and its collaborators for the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) transmission planning studies conducted within the 2011 and 2012 study cycles and includes four distinct study cases: the 10-Year Reference Case (termed the WECC 10-Year Common Case), the 10-Year StateProvincial Steering Committee (SPSC) High DSM/DG Case, the 20-Year WECC Reference Case, and the 20-Year SPSC High DSM/DG Case.

For each study case, DR model inputs for each WECC load zone were developed for use within WECC’s planning models. WECC non-firm load forecasts were validated and adjusted to provide DR resource capacities for the WECC Reference Cases. In developing estimates of DR potential for the SPSC High DSM/DG Cases, LBNL drew initially upon the 2009 FERC assessment of DR potential and then identified and adjusted key forecast assumptions that were expected to change during the 20-year time horizon (e.g., advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) market penetration, residential central air-conditioning (CAC) saturation, direct load control (DLC) participation rates, and dynamic pricing participation rates).

These DR resource capacities in each study case were then subjected to LBNL’s simulated dispatch tool to create hourly load modifying profiles for each WECC load zone according to DR program constraints and availability factors. These hourly load modifying profiles of DR served as the main inputs to the 10-year WECC transmission planning studies on the potential contribution of DR resources. For the 20-year transmission planning studies, the hourly load modifying profiles were used as the basis for calculating demand reductions from DR resources under WECC-defined system conditions.

This report is targeted primarily for participants in WECC’s transmission planning process, and is intended to serve as a reference document to inform future transmission planning efforts within the Western Interconnection. In addition, the methods described herein for modeling demand response impacts within WECC’s recent transmission planning analyses may also have broader application, including to regional transmission planning organizations engaged in FERC Order 1000 compliance activities, individual utilities conducting integrated resource planning, and other interconnection-wide transmission planning efforts.

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