Increasing Access to Smart and Affordable Energy for Customers and Resource Adequacy for the California Grid

Testing whether 7,000 residential electricity load shifting devices can provide competitive grid services

Packetized Energy

Recipient

Burlington, VT

Recipient Location

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$105,215

Amount Spent

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Active

Project Status

Project Update

The Issue

Over the past decade, California ratepayers have experienced a growing threat from power outages and rolling blackouts stemming from wildfires and extreme heat events, leading to a state-wide call for increasing the resiliency and reliability of our electric grid. Reliability challenges can be aggravated by overworked and overloaded grid infrastructure, massive spikes in demand that overwhelm the system, and a lack of flexibility and load shifting. Advanced demand response technology to provide grid flexibility is just beginning to enter the market. With the recent advent of FERC 2222, new policies will enable greater interaction between aggregators and the market.

Project Innovation

The project purpose is to demonstrate advanced grid services provided to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and provide cost savings for electric utility customers through time-of-use load shifting and direct incentives. Using technology funded by ARPA-E, Packetized Energy has developed a grid flexibility software platform that integrates with smart appliances. The demonstration will include at least 4 MW of flexible capacity managed by Packetized Energy aggregated from up to 7,000 new and existing smart energy devices, such as smart thermostats, smart plugs, Mello smart thermostat retrofits for existing electric resistance water heaters, and existing mini split air conditioners, as well as electric vehicle chargers and electricity storage battery systems. The recipient will partner with Community Based Organization GRID Alternatives to ensure that as many of the devices as possible are installed in and benefit low income and disadvantaged communities.

Project Benefits

This project will demonstrate the performance at scale of the recipient's advanced load flexibility management platform to aggregate diverse groups of energy devices into resources that respond quickly to changing grid conditions. The technology is designed to ensure privacy, security and comfort for the customer. The project aims to include up to 7,000 new and existing smart energy devices, focusing primarily on smart thermostats, smart plugs, Mello smart thermostat retrofits for existing electric resistance water heaters, and existing mini split air conditioners. The project will also include electric vehicle chargers and electricity storage battery systems. The project will provide $15-$100 per year in direct consumer savings for approximately 4,000 customers ($120,000-$800,000 total over 2 years).

Lower Costs

Affordability

The project will demonstrate cost savings for electric utility customers through time-of-use load shifting and direct incentives.

Greater Reliability

Reliability

With up to 4 MW of aggregated residential flexible load-shifting, the project will demonstrate advanced grid services provided to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).

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