Reliability in the Midwest: Banning Resources that Keep the Lights On
It’s time to unlock the full potential of demand response to create an affordable, sustainable, and reliable modern grid.
Using a bit of provocation, last month we declared that PJM Demand Response is Dead! The caveat here is that PJM Demand Response (as you’ve known it) is Dead, with changes to the Emergency Load Response Program (ELRP) that make it much more difficult for customers to perform and, ultimately, earn cash (e.g., a 30 minute response with 365/24/7 availability doesn’t work for most).
Our webinar, outlining these changes, and highlighting our out-of-market PeakSaver Program, occurred a few weeks before the close of PJM’s 3rd incremental auction (IA). These incremental auctions give capacity providers, who made commitments to provide capacity three years ago, the opportunity to sell their positions back to the market. Given the changes to ELRP, we had a company-wide hypothesis: curtailment service providers (CSPs) will offer thousands of megawatts back to the market during the 3rd IA, ultimately mitigating their risk of portfolio underperformance under stringent new “capacity performance” program requirements.
There is an important phrase in that last sentence though – mitigating their risk. If a demand response provider unloads their position, what happens to the customer who is expecting to get paid for ELRP program participation in 2020? When the CSP liquidates their position in an IA, the CSP is paid, but the customer’s obligation to perform, and their earning potential, is gone.
Last week, the results were posted and our theory held true: 4,500 MWs of generation capacity, a large portion of which represents demand response, was sold back to the market, dumping many CSPs’ commitments to deliver for the first full “capacity performance” year (starting 6/1/2020). This capacity offloading is a clear sign that the new capacity performance rules prove too risky and costly for many in-market demand response MWs. Commercial and industrial customers who were expecting to generate revenue for the upcoming power year may find that their position was sold out. The CSP will pocket 100% of the profit, leaving the customer with nothing.
What now? Given these results, CSPs are scrambling to figure out exactly how to maximize the profitability of their portfolio and will only retain the best performing customers into the new power year. Don’t get caught holding the bag. All customers should contact their CSP and get a written confirmation of their position for the upcoming summer.
Most importantly, sign up for out-of-market demand response. Voltus’s PeakSaver program can be stacked with in-market programs and provide a clear path to cash this summer. Because the program is market independent, you can enroll at any time, doubling your demand response dollars for the coming year. PeakSaver provides a no cost, no risk approach to demand response that proves far more reliable than many in-market programs.
The only bag you should be holding is the one filled with money. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with us by clicking on the icon on the bottom right of your screen to get yours.
This post is part of multi-week series dedicated to “Getting the Most Cheese from Demand Response.” Check out Week 1 on Eliminating Capacity Charges and Week 2 on In-Market versus Out-of-Market Demand Response.