Energy Storage & Hot Topics in Renewable Energy

Technical Symposium

Smart Grid Contracts

Wednesday, September 26
3:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: 203AB

The dramatic growth in utility-scale renewable generation and distributed solar systems is radically altering the traditional utility generation portfolio and net load profile. Large penetrations of distributed solar can increase the variability and uncertainty of system net load, increase the potential for over and under voltage, and introduce new complexities to service restoration. (ERCOT)

The rapid market adoption of smart inverters, smart thermostats and other load control devices, grid responsive building automation systems, energy storage and EVs is creating new opportunities to accommodate the shift from dispatchable to non-dispatchable energy sources. Properly coordinating Behind the Meter (BTM) customer assets into grid operations can cost-effectively accommodate the inherent variability and uncertainty of solar + wind generation.

Yet seamless interoperability between various stakeholders, systems, and devices remains a significant challenge. The power industry has a confusing array of communication and control standards, protocols, and data models. The various systems, standards and technologies were developed at different times to address specific technical challenges or business requirements.
Rather than propose a new standard, the OpenADR framework, with some essential extensions, can provide a proven platform to support an Energy Services Interface that is open, scalable, secure, vendor neutral, technologically agnostic and resilient. In a two-year, end-to-end DER Communications and Control development and demonstration collaboration between EPRI and NREL, OpenADR was used to abstract DER and DR resource capabilities to integrate with an advanced distribution management system (ADMS). This architecture was selected because it supports scaling both horizontally and vertically. (NREL, 2017)
Our primary focus is to leveragr Metcalf’s Law --- increase market participation of DER assets by driving down the cost and complexity of energy transactions with a new market mechanism, Smart Grid Contracts.

Smart Grid Contracts will allow system operators and service providers to schedule and commit a significant capacity of dispatchable DER assets into planning and operational time horizons.

Smart Grid Contracts are comprised of a proposed Energy Services Interface (ESI) based on an extension of the OpenADR framework and a settlement mechanism that ensures service delivery.

A smart contract is a blockchain component that can facilitate, verify, and enforce the negotiation or performance of a business contract. These transactions are trackable and irreversible. This provides a market mechanism to coordinate heterogeneous DER devices over both temporal and spatial/grid scales by simplifying and securely enabling grid services through
Smart Grid Contracts.

Blockchain has distinct advantages that can accelerate market transformation.

● Increased Market Participation By automating the bidding and settlement processes, Smart Grid Contracts can lower barriers-to-entry for smaller participants.

● Enhanced Market Transparency and Privacy By creating unique identifiers for asset owners, assets, and the data generated by those assets, blockchain can create direct data ownership and selective permissioned data access, allowed greater transparency to pricing while maintaining privacy.

● Distributed Cybersecurity and Enhanced Resiliency Through its distributed ledger and consensus mechanism, blockchain ensures that there is no single point of failure for grid control system, increasing robustness to certain cyber-attack vectors and
accommodating coordination node failures.

Raymond Kaiser

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