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Spending time outdoors, reading, playing the flute and exploring new cultures are Jackie Gushue's hobbies. But while visiting CMMAP this summer, she worked with Professor Michele Betsill looking at the "Jump Start" program and at electric rate structures and their impact on demand response decision making.

Jackie is a junior at Boston University majoring in environmental analysis and Policy and GIS.

The Renewable and Distributed Systems Integration (RDSI) "Jump Start" Program she worked with is a project within FortZED, an initiative whose goal is to become the largest active net zero energy district in the world. Based in Fort Collins, CO, Jump Start plans to test the ability of a combination of demand response (DR) resources to reduce electricity demand when either of two circuits peak. DR strategies among site partners (e.g. raising/lowering temperature set points or running on-site generators) will be implemented during feeder peaks with the goal of reducing peak load by 20-30% for a total of about 3.5 MW in demand reduction. The ability or the degree to which the Jump Start program can reduce demand, however, may be limited by the electricity rate structure in place.

Jackie found that Fort Collins' current electric rate emphasizes the coincident peak or the entire system's highest peak demand within a month. The coincident peak represents a large portion of commercial customers' electricity bills and an incentive exists to significantly reduce demand during this period. However, any reduction of demand during a circuit peak as well as the existence of the rebound effect, can severely limit a commercial customer's ability to respond during a coincident peak. Consequently, this conflicting nature that exists between the Jump Start program's goals and the economic incentives in place will influence DR decision-making and limit the amount of demand reduction possible.

Jackie's research poster, Electric rate structures and their impact on demand response decision making, may be found here (1MB PDF). Her other research interests include GIS, energy, climate change/policy and sustainability.