In its Colorado service territory, Xcel Energy (“PSCo”) has committed to reducing the carbon emissions of its electricity service by 80 percent by 2030 relative to 2005 levels, and to delivering 100 percent carbonfree electricity by 2050. Demand response (DR) is an important resource option for providing the flexibility and reliability that will be needed as PSCo becomes increasingly reliant on non-dispatchable wind and solar generation.
In its 2021 Electricity Resource Plan (ERP), PSCo identified a need for new peaking capacity beginning in 2030. The purpose of this study is to assess the cost-effective potential for new DR opportunities in 2030. We used Brattle’s LoadFlex model to assess PSCo’s emerging DR opportunities. The LoadFlex modeling framework builds upon the standard approach to quantifying DR potential that has been used in prior studies around the U.S. and internationally, but incorporates a number of differentiating features which allow for a more robust evaluation of DR programs. Features include participation assumptions which are consistent with economically optimized incentive payment levels, sophisticated DR program dispatch simulation which accounts for operational constraints of each program, and realistic accounting of “value stacking” to ensure that benefits estimates represent the full potential of DR while accounting for trade-offs when simultaneously pursuing multiple value streams.