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Case Studies of Conservation & Energy Storage

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Simulating Transformative Resources in the Electric Power Industry: Andrew Ford Professor, School of the Environment Washington State University February 11, 2014. Case Studies of Conservation & Energy Storage. Electric Power in the 1970s.

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Simulating Transformative Resources in the Electric Power Industry:Andrew FordProfessor, School of the EnvironmentWashington State UniversityFebruary 11, 2014

electric power in the 1970s
Electric Power in the 1970s

Power companies deal with the energy crisis, and the financial challenge of building new power plants

business week may 23 1983
Business Week, May 23, 1983

new plants are forcing rate increases-

further cutting the growth in demand



Next: how did the electric utility companies simulate the death spiral?

now add a model of costs
Now Add a Model of Costs

Not just 3 models, but 33 models .... with ~ ten staff each

300+ modelers! Can’t someone simulate the Death Spiral?

ok let s build a single model a corporate model
OK, let’s build a single model(a Corporate Model)
  • Workshop by EPRI: only 1 of 12 models did the spiral
  • Workshop for Dept. of Energy: only 1 of 13 models did the spiral
  • Absent system dynamics, managers had to simulate the spiral in their head
conclusions from my own spiral study
Conclusions from my own “Spiral Study”

Waiting for regulators to raise rates won’t necessarily solve the financial problems

The IOUs could improve their situation by building smaller, shorter-lead time plants

And by slowing the growth in electricity demand through efficiency programs

the 1980s a move to small scale and conservation programs for many utilities
The 1980s: A Move to Small Scale and Conservation Programs for Many Utilities

Conservation: a transformative resource then,

often the best resource today

2 nd case storage

2nd Case: Storage

Some promoters say storage is theHoly Grail for Renewables

storage proposals are exploding but does storage have significant value
Storage proposals are exploding.But does storage have significant value?
  • A dozen or more modes of value can be described, but are seldom quantified
  • The few attempts to quantify value usually show value at less than half the cost
  • Our focus: the value of fuel-free, compressed air storage in the Ontario Power System
wind in the short term model
Wind in the Short-term Model

Exports & Curtailments on a windy Thursday

short term model shows curtailments
Short-term model shows Curtailments

Major Curtailments on a windy Thursday

2 1 billion is less than half the cost
$2.1 Billion is less than half the cost!
  • The team (& the agencies) agree with this finding
  • Indeed, this finding built confidence in the model.
  • So, where is the value of storage?
integrating the wind with gcaes
Integrating the Wind with GCAES

wind is too high; run the pumps

wind is too low; run generators

future plans in ontario
Future Plans in Ontario
  • Long-Term Model: Key stakeholders have shown great interest in continuing to help expand and improve the model
  • Short-Term Model: The operations model will be expanded to continue exploring ways to use storage
  • Storage Demo:The Ministry of Energy will include storage in the acquisition process, starting with 50 MW by 2014.