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The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has released its "Demand Response and Energy Efficiency Roadmap: Maximizing Preferred Resources," which the grid operator says lays the path for advancing demand response (DR) and energy efficiency (EE) resources in the state.

The roadmap represents a collaboration with the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission and industry stakeholders. The ISO says the plan builds upon the state’s progressive policies enabling non-polluting distributed energy resources such as microgrids, rooftop solar, electric vehicles and energy storage facilities. The ISO adds that it envisions these resources contributing to the low-carbon, flexible capacity needed to maintain real-time system balance and reliability supporting the integration of renewable energy.

“Utility energy efficiency and demand response efforts are already contributing to lower costs and reduced environmental impacts,” says ISO Director of Regulatory Affairs Heather Sanders, who authored the roadmap. “Implementing new, more responsive resources on a system-wide scale using a market mechanism will further advance California’s clean energy goals. It could also replace or defer investments in more expensive energy infrastructure.”

According to the ISO, the roadmap identifies four integrated pathways essential to bringing online a robust set of DR and EE solutions over the next three years:

1) Load Reshaping Path that focuses on using incentives to modify consumption patterns to “flatten” demand, thus reducing the need for peaking generation capacity.

2) Resource Sufficiency Path that ensures enough resources with needed operational characteristics available at the right places and at the right times.

3) Operations Path that makes the best use of any and all resources (demand and supply) and involves the ISO changing some existing policies as well as modifying or developing new market products to expand DR market participation.

4) Monitoring Path that provides mechanisms for monitoring progress and outcomes to ensure that the initiatives accomplish their objectives on time.

The roadmap is available here.


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