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Leveraging the water‐energy nexus to derive benefits for the electric grid through demand‐side management in the water supply and wastewater sectors

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Abstract Leveraging the potential flexibility of large electrical loads has become an attractive option for maintaining grid reliability, especially in electric grids with high penetrations of variable renewable energy. The water sector is a particularly attractive option for demand‐side flexibility due to its vast water storage infrastructure, large interruptible pumping loads, and energy generation opportunities. Shifting the timing of water supply and wastewater utility operations can reduce peak load and temporally align energy‐consuming activities with periods of cheap electricity prices and/or high renewable energy generation. This paper presents a general overview of demand‐side management strategies in water and wastewater systems, focusing primarily on demand‐response measures. We find that while there is consensus in the literature about the potential for water systems to provide flexible demand‐side management services, there is a need for developing comprehensive water‐energy models to examine the value of load management as a source of revenue for water utilities and as a source of flexibility for the electric grid. More experimental studies and simulation efforts are also needed to address the technical complexities and water quality concerns associated with interrupting water and wastewater utility operations. This article is categorized under: Engineering Water > Sustainable Engineering of Water Engineering Water > Planning Water
Water supply and wastewater treatment system boundaries and projected electricity consumption breakdowns. Total U.S. electricity consumption data reflect a 2013 study (EPRI, 2013) and exclude the electricity used for producing recycled water after wastewater treatment. Each pie chart indicates the main components of electricity use in each stage based on (GEI Consultants/Navigant Consulting, 2010; Greenberg, 2011). These percentages of electricity usage may change depending on many factors, including source water quality, regional topology, and desired product water quality (Sanders & Webber, 2012)
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The concept of aquifer pumped hydroelectric energy storage system (recreated based on figure 1 presented in Khan and Davidson (2017). Copyright Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2017)
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A simplified architecture for automated demand response (DR). Arrows show the flow of information communicated between entities and devices
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Different types of demand response (DR) programs grouped by program type, administrator, and financial compensation method. Note that DR programs vary across different electric utilities and energy wholesale markets. For more details refer to (Paterakis et al., 2017), (Churchwell, 2015), and (Siano, 2014)
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An illustration of different types of load modifications using demand‐side resources. The dashed and solid lines demonstrate the original load profile before and modified load profile after energy management, respectively. The y‐axis represents instantaneous load and the x‐axis represents time across a 24‐hr period, such that the entire area under each curve represents total daily electricity consumption
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Engineering Water > Planning Water
Engineering Water > Sustainable Engineering of Water

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