Innovative developments of demand response are enabling large scale consumers to provide fast responding load curtailments to relieve congestion, reliability risk and energy price volatility. In exchange for emission-free, virtual power, regional grid operators and utilities are providing greater and greater financial incentives. With new revenues and savings, financial hurdles for widespread distributed storage and generation are breaking down, offering a growing opportunity for the development of localized microgrids that can reduce outage risks in critical congestions, such as New York City.
Full Spectrum Demand Response, or virtual generation, and the development of microgrids hold the potential to be two of the most impactful developments in addressing mounting challenges to maintain energy surety and fulfill on the smart grid promise.
Microgrids are self-sustaining power networks within the larger grid system that provide a higher level of local reliability than what is provided by the entire power system as a whole. By empowering consumers and gathering real-time data from different parts of the grid, microgrids and Full Spectrum Demand Response allow for more informed distribution of power throughout the entire grid and more efficient use of peak power throughout the day.
How will microgrid infrastructure enable better demand response? Where are the biggest developments in microgrids being made? How can microgrids increase overall grid reliability? How do microgrids enhance overall smart grid effectiveness? How essential are microgrids to smart grid development? What value do microgrid enabled demand response capabilities hold for utilities? ISOs? What existing markets are microgrids found in? What existing microgrid markets utilize demand response? How easily do other markets, such as storage or de-centralized power generation, complement and enhance or are enhanced by microgrids? What investment opportunities are there for microgrid development? On what scales? What are some examples of existing microgrid investments? Where does the most and investment in microgrid development originate; public agencies or private capital? How do public and private interests in microgrid development differ? What level of increased reliability and efficiency, if any, will microgrids and comprehensive demand response infrastructure bring to the grid? What government agencies influence microgrid development and how can they create a better market space for growth?