Alternative Approaches for Incentivizing the Frequency Responsive Reserve Ancillary Service

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Frequency responsive reserve is the autonomous response of generators and demand response to deviations of system frequency, usually as a result of the instantaneous outage of a large supplier. Frequency responsive reserve arrests the frequency decline resulting in the stabilization of system frequency, and avoids the triggering of under-frequency load-shedding or the reaching of unstablefrequencies that could ultimately lead to system blackouts. It is a crucial service required to maintain a reliable and secure power system. Regions with restructured electricity markets have historically had a lack of incentives for frequency responsive reserve because generators inherently provided the response and on large interconnected systems, more than sufficient response has beenavailable. This may not be the case in future systems due to new technologies and declining response. This paper discusses the issues that can occur without proper incentives and even disincentives, and proposes alternatives to introduce incentives for resources to provide frequency responsive reserve to ensure an efficient and reliable power system.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2012

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-54393


  • electricity demand
  • electricity response
  • frequency response
  • reserve ancillary service market


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