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CanmetENERGY Research Brief: Summary Report on Canadian Residential Demand Response and Ancillary Service Market Opportunities

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Author: Steven Wong, Natural Resources Canada
CETC number: 2015-023
Publication date: 2015-07-30


This report first appraises the existing ancillary services (AS) market across Canada, focusing on those that are both commonly utilized by system operators and can be served from demand response (DR) resources. These include ASs that are routinely deployed (regulation and load following reserves) and those activated during contingencies (spinning, non-spinning, and replacement/supplemental reserves). Each AS is defined, their method of procurement identified, and market size and value assessed.

Second, this report looks at Canada’s residential sector, which is characterized by a large number of small but simple loads that will, as the smart grid develops, become economically and technically feasible to employ as DR resources capable of complex tasks (such as contributing to the aforementioned ASs). It identifies, by end-use, which of these loads will have the most DR potential from technical and accessibility perspectives. As part of this assessment, an evaluation of the potential available from each province is highlighted. While these two appraisals (of AS and residential DR potential) stand well on their own – ASs can be served by more than one resource (e.g., storage) and DR can serve more than one purpose –, this report goes further by appraising the technical and economic potential of each residential load end-use as a purveyor of DR for AS applications. 

For more information about Natural Resources Canada’s activities related to electricity, visit the Electricity Infrastructure section of the website.

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