OpenADR Alliance tries to improve demand response standards

The success of our energy future might depend on the openness / collaboration of the stakeholders involved in this brave new distributed energy resource world. This is why the OpenADR Alliance is expanding the scope of its automated demand response standard to include advanced communications for distributed energy resources (DER).

demand response

What is OpenADR?

The OpenADR Alliance fosters the development, adoption and compliance of the Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) standard through collaboration, education, training, testing, and certification. The OpenADR Alliance is open to all interested stakeholders interested in accelerating the adoption and scope of the OpenADR standard for price- and reliability-based demand response and management of distributed energy resources (DER).

Energy supplier’s worldwide use the OpenADR standard to send fast, reliable and secure price and event messages to a wide variety of customer-installed equipment, such as building control systems, Zero Net Energy (ZNE) homes, smart thermostats, air conditioners, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, water heaters, and advanced plug load controllers. By enhancing the standard with messaging support for common energy resources, OpenADR can provide a unified platform to help utilities and customers manage the constantly changing collection of DER resources, unifying a system of systems.

“Many electric utilities are struggling with the diverse and growing collection of communication standards used for coordinating and managing their DERs such as solar PV, battery storage, electric vehicles and demand side management resources,” said Barry Haaser, managing director, OpenADR Alliance. “By making some relatively simple modifications to the OpenADR standard, the industry would have a standardized message framework that can be used to send customers information on electrical rates, load management and price signals to help them better manage their growing ensemble of distributed energy assets.”

How it can help: Successes in Southern California, Japan

The traditional world of demand response (DR) is becoming more sophisticated and capable of more dynamic operations. As a result, energy suppliers continue to recognize the critical role DR plays in balancing distributed energy resources with local grid operations. Southern California Edison (SCE), for example, has used its OpenADR-based system to deliver price and event information to electric vehicle (EV) car chargers in past and upcoming pilot programs.

As more electric vehicles enter the market and more workplaces provide services for employees to charge their cars on-site, it’s essential for utilities like SCE to find a cost-effective way to manage periods of high demand on the electrical grid with demand response and dynamic pricing programs. This allows SCE to better leverage their long-term investment in OpenADR, while providing a seamless method for enabling consumer behavior changes in response to these dynamic price signals.

In Japan, a national study committee summarized 71 use cases proposed by 29 member companies for using the OpenADR standard for management of their distributed energy resources. The Japanese group, lead by METI and managed by Waseda University, has recommended a few minor modifications to the OpenADR standard to better support DER resource management.

The OpenADR Alliance recently collaborated with EPRI to organize a DER workshop at EPRI’s Palo Alto headquarters, which was attended by 80 thought leaders with strong DR or DER backgrounds. The group evaluated DER protocols, use cases and DER requirements and made a number of recommendations for modifying the OpenADR standard for use in utility DER programs.

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