OpenADR and the Role of Aggregators in Demand Response under FERC Order 2222

Posted by dave on September 03, 2023

Introduction: In recent years, the energy sector has witnessed significant advancements that have transformed the way we generate, transmit, and consume electricity. Key among these innovations is the ability to manage demand in real-time, often referred to as "demand response" (DR). One prominent standard aiding this transformation is the Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) protocol. With the introduction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Order 2222, aggregators are poised to play an essential role in integrating distributed energy resources (DERs), including demand response, into organized wholesale markets. This article delves into how OpenADR can be utilized by aggregators to facilitate DR under FERC Order 2222.

OpenADR – An Overview: OpenADR is a standardized communication protocol that facilitates the automated exchange of DR signals between utilities and customer-end devices. By ensuring a common language, OpenADR enables diverse devices, from HVAC systems to electric vehicle chargers, to respond to DR signals, thus optimizing grid operation during peak load periods or other grid events.

FERC Order 2222: FERC Order 2222 marks a significant policy shift, directing organized wholesale power markets to create pathways for aggregators to participate by pooling various DERs and bid them into the market. This order acknowledges the growing importance of DERs in enhancing grid resilience, reducing emissions, and ensuring a more distributed generation landscape.

Role of Aggregators: Aggregators are entities that bundle multiple DERs to participate in energy markets collectively. By doing so, they make it feasible for smaller resources, which might not have the capacity to participate on their own, to play a role in the energy landscape. With Order 2222, these aggregators are now able to bid their pooled resources into the larger wholesale markets.

OpenADR in Action: Aggregators and Demand Response under FERC 2222: Standardized Communication: OpenADR ensures that the myriad of devices under an aggregator's umbrella can receive and respond to DR signals. Regardless of the type or brand of device, a standardized protocol ensures that the demand can be modulated seamlessly.

Optimized Bidding: By utilizing real-time data from DERs via OpenADR, aggregators can make informed decisions about when and how much power to bid into the wholesale market.

Scalability: As more devices become OpenADR-compliant, aggregators can easily expand their pool of resources without extensive reconfigurations. This scalability is essential as the role of DERs in energy markets grows.

Reliability and Grid Stability: By effectively managing and modulating demand through OpenADR, aggregators can play a vital role in ensuring grid stability, especially during peak load times or during unexpected grid events.

Economic Benefits: With the ability to participate in wholesale markets, aggregators can unlock new revenue streams for themselves and the DERs they represent. Automated DR also can reduce grid congestion and related costs.

Conclusion: OpenADR provides a pivotal tool for aggregators to harness the full potential of DERs, especially demand response, in the evolving energy landscape shaped by FERC Order 2222. As the nexus between technology and policy continues to strengthen, it is clear that standardized protocols like OpenADR will be central to achieving a more resilient, distributed, and efficient grid.