Using Dimmable Lighting for Regulation Capacity and Non-Spinning Reserves in the Ancillary Services Market. A Feasibility Study

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The objective of this Feasibility Study was to identify the potential of dimmable lighting for providing regulation capacity and contingency reserves if massively-deployed throughout the State. We found that one half of the total electric lighting load in the California commercial sector is bottled up in larger buildings that are greater an 50,000 square feet. Retrofitting large California buildings with dimmable lighting to enable fast DR lighting would require an investment of about $1.8 billion and a “fleet” of about 56 million dimming ballasts. By upgrading the existing installed base of lighting and controls (primarily in large commercial facilities) a substantial amount of ancillary services could be provided. Though not widely deployed, today’s state-of-the art lighting systems, control systems and communication networks could be used for this application. The same lighting control equipment that is appropriate for fast DR is also appropriate for achieving energy efficiency with lighting on a daily basis. Thus fast DR can leverage the capabilities that are provided by a conventional dimming lighting control system. If dimmable lighting were massively deployed throughout large California buildings (because mandated by law, for example) dimmable lighting could realistically supply 380 MW of non-spinning reserve, 47% of the total non-spinning reserves needed in 2007.

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