During last weekâ€™s heat-wave-driven grid emergency in California, grid operator CAISO and the stateâ€™s utilities sent out desperate calls to demand response providers, behind-the-meter battery aggregators, electric-vehicle charging providers, microgrid operators and backup generator owners, seeking whatever help they could provide.
The call was answered. According to CAISO and the California Public Utilities Commission, consumer conservation and demand-side resources were critical in avoiding more rolling blackouts like those CAISO ordered the evenings of Friday, Aug. 14 and Saturday, Aug. 15.
While the grid operator lacks visibility into how much load reduction came from those voluntary energy-saving decisions, it can measure the roughly 1,300 megawatts of residential and commercial-industrial demand response it secured during the crisis.
See Distributed Energy Helped Fight Californiaâ€™s Grid Outages, But It Could Do Much More
Battery and demand response providers say policy and market reforms could turn emergency help into stable, consistent grid relief.