California’s Plan to Turn Distributed Energy Resources Into Grid Market Players
Grid operator CAISO could let aggregated solar, storage, EVs and DR serve grid markets as soon as next year—with some limits.
California is already busy creating new regulations and market structures to integrate rooftop solar, behind-the-meter batteries, plug-in electric vehicles and fast-acting demand response systems into its grid. This week, California’s grid operator took another step down this path — one that could allow these resources to tap the state’s grid markets as a revenue-generating resource, possibly as early as next year.
On Wednesday, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) published a proposal (PDF) for creating a new class of grid market players, known as distributed energy resource providers — DERPs for short. In simple terms, the proposal sets rules for how DERs can be aggregated and dispatched to serve the same grid markets open to utility-scale energy installations today.
That’s something that no other state has done, although some, including New York and Texas, are working on similar plans. But California may be moving more quickly from concept to reality — if only on a limited scale.