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1st Interdisciplinary Workshop on Smart Grid Design & Implementation

Harnessing Residential Loads for Demand Response
Johanna Mathieu

Johanna is a postdoc in the Power Systems Laboratory at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. She received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 and has an MS from Berkeley and a BS from MIT.  Johanna’s research focuses on ways to reduce the environmental impact, cost, and inefficiency of electric power systems via new operational and control strategies. She is particularly interested in developing new methods to actively engage distributed flexible resources such as energy storage, electric loads, and distributed renewable resources in power system operation. This is especially important in power systems with high penetrations of wind and solar. In her work, she uses methods from a variety of fields including controls, optimization, and statistics. She is also interested in using engineering methods to inform energy policy and energy economics.

There exists disagreement on how Demand Response (DR) programs should be designed. This is likely because people from different fields view DR differently.  For example, some see DR as a mechanism to improve electricity markets while others see it as a new control variable that can enhance power system reliability and security.  In this paper, we review the many options for harnessing residential electric loads for DR and consider the engineering and economic implications associated with three specific cases: (1) price signals from the retailer, (2) direct load control via an aggregator providing some market-based service to the system operator, and (3) price/quantity bidding by individual loads into markets run by the system operator.  While these cases are not meant to be exhaustive, they do comprise a wide spectrum of possible DR implementation options and so the engineering and economic considerations are quite different. Our goal is to understand which DR program designs are best suited to which applications. However, our broader aim is to bring the economist's and engineer's perspectives together in one paper as a way to increase mutual understanding and, ideally, move towards some consensus on residential DR design and deployment.
Saturday, December 8th 2012
201 NEB

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