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July 12, 2019
Brattle Economists Author a Report on Load Flexibility for Xcel Energy's Integrated Resource Plan Filing

A recent report authored by The Brattle Group estimates the capability of the cost-effective demand response (DR) available in Xcel Energy’s Northern States Power (NSP) service territory through 2030. The report’s scope extends broadly, accounting for the rapid emergence of consumer-oriented energy technologies and evaluating the cost effectiveness of each DR option.

Using Brattle’s proprietary LoadFLEX model, the researchers found that approximately 30% of the 2030 incremental DR potential presented in the study is comprised of new and emerging load flexibility programs. LoadFLEX’s modeling framework builds upon the standard approach to quantifying DR potential by incorporating economically optimized enrollment, utility-calibrated load impacts, a sophisticated DR program dispatch, and other differentiating features that allow economists to perform a more detailed evaluation of load flexibility programs.

The authors presented six main recommendations for achieving this additional DR potential. These recommendations include transitioning to smart thermostats, piloting a smart water heating program, evaluating the economic and environmental impacts of switching from gas to electric heating, and designing programs with peak period flexibility.

The report, The Potential for Load Flexibility in Xcel Energy Northern States Power Service Territory, is authored by Brattle Principals Ryan Hledik and Ahmad Faruqui, Associate Pearl Donohoo-Vallett, and Senior Research Analyst Tony Lee. It was prepared for Xcel Energy to support its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan. Brattle’s full report begins on page 36 of the appendix for Xcel Energy’s integrated resource plan filing, below.