Data-driven modelling for demand response from large consumer energy assets
Demand response (DR) is one of the integral mechanisms of today’s smart grids. It enables consumer energy assets such as flexible loads, standby generators and storage systems to add value to the grid by providing cost-effective flexibility. With increasing renewable generation and impending electric vehicle deployment, there is a critical need for large volumes of reliable and responsive flexibility through DR. This poses a new challenge for the electricity sector. Smart grid development has resulted in the availability of large amounts of data from different physical segments of the grid such as generation, transmission, distribution and consumption. For instance, smart meter data carrying valuable information is increasingly available from the consumers. Parallel to this, the domain of data analytics and machine learning (ML) is making immense progress. Data-driven modelling based on ML algorithms offers new opportunities to utilise the smart grid data and address the DR challenge. The thesis demonstrates the use of data-driven models for enhancing DR from large consumers such as commercial and industrial (C&I) buildings. A reliable, computationally efficient, cost-effective and deployable data-driven model is developed for large consumer building load estimation. The selection of data pre-processing and model development methods are guided by these design criteria. Based on this model, DR operational tasks such as capacity scheduling, performance evaluation and reliable operation are demonstrated for consumer energy assets such as flexible loads, standby generators and storage systems. Case studies are designed based on the frameworks of ongoing DR programs in different electricity markets. In these contexts, data-driven modelling shows substantial improvement over the conventional models and promises more automation in DR operations. The thesis also conceptualises an emissions-based DR program based on emissions intensity data and consumer load flexibility to demonstrate the use of smart grid data in encouraging renewable energy consumption. Going forward, the thesis advocates data-informed thinking for utilising smart grid data towards solving problems faced by the electricity sector.