Flexibility for the 21st Century Power System

Date Published: October 2019

Authors: Carl Linvill, Jim Lazar, David Littell, Jessica Shipley, David Farnsworth

This report details the technologies and market designs that can be used to meet the flexibility needs of a resilient and reliable energy system with high penetrations of intermittent resources. Mixed generation resources and geographic diversification can increase the flexibility of variable resources by providing complementary load profiles. Inverter-based generation (e.g., solar and wind) are also highly capable of providing grid service capabilities given their ability to respond quickly to signals and communications. Demand-side flexibility driven by demand response can be responsive to many grid needs and can take many forms, referred to in the report as: “shape,” changes to the load shape; “shift,” shifts in load to more optimal time periods; “shed,” reductions in demand for short periods; and “shimmy,” fast-acting changes in load to provide grid services. Market solutions from retail pricing to adoption of wholesale market rules for distributed resources improve the economics of these flexibility solutions and accelerate their adoption.

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