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ISO Panel at CESA

February 1st, 2013 by Spence Gerber

Last week I attended the California Energy Storage Alliance annual meeting and had the privilege of participating in a panel on the progress and activities needed to bring storage resources into the wholesale market in California.

Spence on CESA PanelWhile my fellow panelists discussed some of the market and regulatory initiatives that are conducive to storage participation as well as resources designed to keep parties informed about those changes, I was able to share some of Olivine’s experience in the deployment of those initiatives.

In particular, Olivine has participated in the CAISO market simulations for Non Generator Resources (NGR), will be participating in their upcoming FERC Order 755 frequency regulation pay for performance market simulation and are engaged in other stakeholder processes and initiatives related to renewable and emerging technology integration.

While taking advantage of listening to other panels and speakers throughout the day, it underscored for me the opportunities for emerging technology to find areas for revenue, even if temporarily, on the way to wholesale market integration.  That is, that rather than just focus on the path to wholesale market integration, it makes sense to treat some situations as a continuum.  While the ultimate goal may continue to be wholesale market integration, interim opportunities at the customer and utility level along the way can in some cases make an impact and provide revenues more quickly.

It was a worthwhile and educational event and, as always, I enjoyed the opportunity to meet some new people and to share my perspectives on these important topics.

Encore of CAISO NGR webinar

January 22nd, 2013 by Olivine Team

In December, Olivine held a webinar on the California ISO NGR Model: What it is and What’s Next.

We have had several requests to run the webinar again.  We are happy to announce that on Thursday, February 14th at 10:00AM Pacific, Olivine will hold an encore.

Please join Spence Gerber as he provides an overview of the new Non-Generation Resource type at the CAISO, including the following topics:

  • Overview of the NGR Model
  • Emerging and untested aspects
  • Pay for Performance

The CAISO developed the Non Generator Resource (NGR) model to integrate emerging technology resources into the California markets and has recently deployed the functionality to the market. Olivine has followed the development and implementation of the NGR model and will conduct a free webinar sharing our experiences and observations associated with the role out of NGR and the related plans for Regulation Pay for Performance.

While this is an overview, Spence will get into some details that have been uncovered through Olivine’s involvement in market simulation.

Register for the webinar

Note that was rescheduled from Wednesday, February 6th due to a conflict.

Upcoming webinar on CAISO NGR

December 3rd, 2012 by Olivine Team

On Wednesday, December 12th at 10:00AM Pacific, Olivine will hold a webinar: CAISO NGR: What it is and What’s Next.

The CAISO has developed the Non Generator Resource (NGR) model to integrate emerging technology resources into the California markets and has recently deployed the functionality to the market. Olivine has followed the development and implementation of the NGR model and will conduct a free webinar sharing our experiences and observations associated with the role out of NGR and the related plans for Regulation Pay for Performance.

Please join Spence Gerber as he provides an overview of the new Non-Generation Resource type at the CAISO, including the following topics:

  • Overview of the NGR Model
  • Emerging and untested aspects
  • Pay for Performance

While this is an overview, Spence will get into some details that have been uncovered through Olivine’s involvement in market simulation.

Register for the webinar

NGR-REM Phase 1 Market Simulation Report

July 18th, 2012 by Olivine Team

As part of our commitment to enable small demand-based resources, Olivine participated in the Non-Generator Resource Regulation Energy Management (NGR-REM) Phase 1 market simulation in April of this year. We registered our own resource and assisted several others as their Scheduling Coordinator (SC).

Today we are releasing our report on the simulation to all interested parties.  This report details our experiences and perspectives both from market integration and product issues as well as from the perspective of working with the CAISO on the simulation itself.

Olivine Report on CAISO NGR-REM Phase 1 Simulation – FINAL

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments; there are contact links available in the report.

Follow this link to view all our posts on NGR.

What is NGR-REM?

July 8th, 2012 by Robert W. Anderson

This is an excerpt from a coming report by Olivine on NGR-REM at the CAISO.  Follow this link to view all posts on NGR, including to access the report once it is published.

The CAISO renewable integration initiative focuses on the challenges of operating the California grid under the 33% Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). A major concern of grid operators with such a penetration of renewables is increased short-term uncertainty created by the intermittency of solar and wind generation. The forecasted imbalances created by such intermittency will require the availability of additional ancillary services to maintain system reliability. While one solution to maintaining reliability is to procure additional dispatchable thermal resources, other organized markets have successfully demonstrated small-scale storage and demand-side resources as a viable and “green” alternative.

Such non-generation resources may in fact be more effective than conventional generation by providing faster-responding regulation or load following with fast ramping capability; however, a major issue with such resources is the relatively smaller amount of service available based on limited storage capacity or demand response capability. Whether this limitation comes from the capacity of a physical battery or the demand response opportunities in a commercial building, wholesale market models must be updated to consider such limitations.

The CAISO has responded to this challenge by defining a new class of resource, the Non-Generator Resource (NGR), with two resource models designed to respect the unique operational characteristics of fast-acting storage and demand response. The new models are the Limited Energy Storage Resource (LESR) and the Dispatchable Demand Response (DDR) resource. A LESR can provide both generation and load continuously from negative to positive output and allows for injection onto the grid. A DDR provides services only by varying demand and therefore can never inject onto the grid. Both of these new models include the Regulation Energy Management (REM) option. This option resolves two major issues for NGR resources in today’s CAISO market: resources providing regulation service must be able to provide 60-minutes of continuous delivery; and the timing of Real-Time bidding makes it infeasible to use the Real-Time market to recharge regulation resources. These issues together suggest that only the largest of storage resources with significant capacity could certify in today’s market, and even then, that the capacity of such resources would be depleted very quickly.

The REM option addresses these issues by giving the CAISO control over the state of charge while respecting the energy limits for NGR resources using a combination of Automatic Generation Control (AGC) and telemetry. In addition, the CAISO will manage REM resources in the Real-Time market with the goal of energy neutrality by offsetting current energy balanced against the previous dispatch interval. Under this option, the CAISO also makes an allowance for the certification of capacity, allowing it to be equal to four times the regulation energy certified over a 15-minute period.

Phase 1 of NGR specifically targets the REM option for the LESR model and therefore this was the focus of the NGR-REM market simulation in April and May of 2012. Phase 2 of NGR targets the non-REM option of LESR with a planned market simulation in September 2012.

International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

February 13th, 2012 by Olivine Team

The U.N. designates International Years to draw attention to issues of global importance, and this year of 2012 has been declared the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.  This is actually just one component of the greater Sustainable Energy for All Initiative intended to support the development of modern and sustainable energy resources for everyone.

There are three specific objectives to this initiative, to be achieved by 2030:

  • Achieving universal access to modern energy services;
  • Doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and,
  • Doubling the share of renewable energy in the global mix.

These are certainly laudable objectives!

One  important consideration for those of us working for a greener planet is that we cannot ignore realities of the developing world.   Improving our energy efficiencies is important, but we must also find ways to modernize the energy usage for the rest of the world where it is often more about highly-polluting energy sources.

One aspect of the Initiative is to get commitments to help achieve these goals. Governments, industry, and private citizens can all make commitments to help. While Olivine’s mission directly feeds into the latter two objectives of the Initiative, Olivine is also committed to the first objective: by helping the developing world to achieve access to clean energy.

To support this objective, we have made a contribution to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.  Their mission:

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a new public-private partnership to save lives, empower women, improve livelihoods, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance’s ‘100 by 20’ goal calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020.

You can find out more about this specific problem and their mission on their website.

What kind of commitment can you make to the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative?

RDT Submitted

August 29th, 2011 by Spence Gerber

Note: this is one in a series of posts chronicling the Olivine Power of Us™ PDR Proof of Concept.

Being at the leading edge of a new product is a great learning experience, providing us with lessons and some challenges, every step of the way.  Our next step is defining the Resource Data Template (RDT) which provides certain operational characteristics for our PDR to the ISO.

Several attempts were made to upload the completed RDT through the CAISO Masterfile User Interface (UI) but it was rejected.

The first rejection indicated that the file was of an unknown format, which seemed weird since we did nothing to modify the template that the CAISO sent us.  Turns out we did do something to modify the template, it was saved as an Excel 2010 file and the CAISO UI only accepts files in the Excel 2007 format!

After saving the file in the Excel 2007 (with the minor loss of fidelity that comes with that) we submitted it again and while the upload was successful, there were a number of errors associated with the template.  Reviewing the error messages, it turned out that all the errors were either in fields that didn’t contain data or were not modifiable by the user (us).

After a number of email exchanges with the RDT team at the CAISO, somebody finally asked, “is that RDT for a PDR?”  It turns out that you can’t use the MasterFile UI for PDR RDTs since the PDR template doesn’t exactly match the standard template for a generator.  Once this was clarified we sent our RDT to the CAISO via email for validation and processing.  We lost a bit of time in the process since neither the BPM nor RDT process documentation indicates that an RDT for a PDR must be processed manually.

This experience with the RDT upload identified several challenges for DR providers in the market — we’ll be sure to include these lessons in our ultimate white paper.

Follow this link to view all posts on this project.

PDR Registration Reviewed and Validated

August 26th, 2011 by Spence Gerber

Note: this is one in a series of posts chronicling the Olivine Power of Us™ PDR Proof of Concept.

Our PDR registration made it through the review process without being denied (although there was no reason to expect that could happen), and we were assigned a resource ID and the CAISO has delivered a partially complete Resource Data Template (RDT) for us to fill out and submit.  Outside of validation rules that prevent an account from being simultaneously registered in more than one PDR, the possible reasons for denying a registration would be that the CAISO determines that there is an error in the registration detail.  The denial function is used as a means to communicate to the DRP that corrections to the registration are being requested by the CAISO.

The review process took longer than the posted maximum of ten business days given that the process is new and an extra effort was made to assure that all of the review parties were aware of what was transpiring.  Under normal circumstances, both the Load Serving Entity (LSE) and the Utility Distribution Company (UDC) that are identified in a registration have ten business days to review and comment on a registration that a Demand Response Provider submits or it is automatically deemed reviewed.  This is a design feature that prevents registrations from staying in a pending state indefinitely.   Rather than just assume that the LSE and UDC didn’t have any issues with the registration, the CAISO made an effort to inform and clarify with those entities that the registration was moving forward.

This acknowledgement process is meant to support clear communication among the parties. However, one aspect of this process that is challenging is that it is not entirely clear what parameters an LSE or UDC could comment on as an issue in their review that could result in the CAISO rejecting a registration.

Follow this link to view all posts on this project.

Registering a PDR

August 8th, 2011 by Spence Gerber

Note: this is one in a series of posts chronicling the Olivine Power of Us™ PDR Proof of Concept.

There are a few things that you need to know about a customer to include them in a PDR:

  1. Address
  2. UDC Account Number
  3. Their Load Serving Entity
  4. The UDC Sub-LAP where the customer is located

Turns out the first three are pretty easy to figure out, but determining the Sub-LAP is not.

Determining the Sub-Lap

A Sub-LAP is a zone within a UDC service territory that has specific locational reliability requirements that are more stringent than the total system or UDC area.  This is important because a PDR can only contain accounts that are all located in a single Sub-LAP and have the same Load Serving Entity.  Determining the Sub-LAP is challenging because the UDC Sub-LAPs (Load Aggregation Point) aren’t published anywhere and it actually only really matters to the CAISO.   Because Sub-LAPs are defined by a specific collection of substations, it is virtually impossible for anyone but the UDC or the CAISO to determine what substation serves a customer let alone what substation is in which Sub-LAP.

Another wrinkle here is that since PDRs aren’t in everyday use, the UDC hasn’t established the method for conveying Sub-LAP information to a customer or a DRP.  Ultimately, the CAISO had to step in and help identify the Sub-LAP for each of our customer locations.

This posed a problem because it wasn’t until we were ready to register our PDR that we could determine if the participants could be placed within the same PDR due to the single-Sub-LAP rule.  We found that the customers were in multiple Sub-LAPs, and ultimately decided that only one PDR is necessary to achieve the goals of the proof of concept; so chose the Sub-LAP with the greatest number of locations.  This eliminated about half of the available curtailable demand but still was well above the 100kW minimum required for an individual PDR.

Establishing the LSE

At this point, we had all the information we needed to register the PDR; however, there was one major problem.  When it came time to enter the customer information in the CAISO Demand Response System (DRS), we were unable to identify the customer’s LSE because the LSE wasn’t available in the dropdown menu.  The LSE must execute an agreement with the CAISO to have them appear in the DRS.  This poses an interesting problem, because there is nothing requiring an LSE to engage with the CAISO in this way; however, thanks to a very cooperative LSE, that barrier was removed, but it took a bit of time to process the agreement and update the DRS with the information.

Follow this link to view all posts on this project.

Olivine becomes an SC

April 6th, 2011 by Spence Gerber

Note: this is one in a series of posts chronicling the Olivine Power of Us™ PDR Proof of Concept.

In order to interact with the CAISO for most purposes, you must be a certified Scheduled Coordinator (SC).  Operational capabilities as well as financial responsibility and risk are required to become an SC and interact directly in the wholesale market.  This can create a barrier to entry for entities who may have demand response available but do not have the capabilities, expertise or status to become an SC.  There is a limited number of third party SCs available in the market and the cost associated with the service is greater than can be readily justified by most small resources.  Olivine had started the detailed process of becoming a Scheduling Coordinator prior to beginning this project as a critical part of providing knowledge, infrastructure and support for innovative activities.   Delivering proof of concept projects – the best learning is through doing – is the core of  the Olivine WayTM.

Numerous steps, including filling out forms, operational tests and executing agreements are finally complete.  Now that we are an SC,  we move forward with our project, certain steps, such as submitting a RDT once we register a PDR, will be managed by Olivine and hopefully simplify some of the processes by reducing the amount of communication that would be necessary if SC services were being performed by a third party.

Follow this link to view all posts on this project.

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