Assessment of Commercial Building Lighting as a Frequency Regulation Resource: Article No. 613

Gregor Henze, Alexandra Karpilow, Walter Beamer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


This paper evaluates the potential for automated lighting control as a resource for frequency regulation of the electric grid system in the context of current energy policies, economic incentives, and technological trends. The growing prevalence of renewable energy has increased the need for ancillary services to maintain grid frequency and stability. While demand side resources like heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, as well as water treatment plants are already evaluated as regulation service providers, the potential application to electrical lighting systems has largely been ignored. Yet, aggregations of lighting systems that are retrofitted with intelligent controls could conceivably contribute to frequency regulation services with little impact on user comfort. To further explore the feasibility of lighting potential, this paper explores (1) how lighting control systems are limited by visual comfort perception and acceptability, (2) how such limitations impact the performance of the lighting system as an frequency regulation resource, and (3) how the market potential of lighting systems as demand side resources compares in different regional transmission organizations. Finally, the impact of developing technologies on the application of lighting systems for frequency regulation is discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-76171


  • ancillary services
  • commercial buildings
  • frequency regulation
  • lighting systems


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