Written comments must be submitted to the Docket Unit by 5:00 p.m., November 30, 2021.

The CEC encourages use of its electronic commenting system. Please submit your comments to the Docket Unit . Select or enter a proceeding to be taken to the “Add Comment” page. Enter your contact information and a comment title describing the subject of your comment(s). Comments may be included in the “Comment Text” box or attached in a downloadable, searchable Microsoft® Word (.doc, .docx) or Adobe® Acrobat® (.pdf) file. Maximum file size is 10 MB.

Written comments may also be submitted by email. Include the docket number 19-ERDD-01 and “Energy Efficiency and Demand Response in Industrial Commercial Cold Storage – request for information” in the subject line and send to docket@energy.ca.gov.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is gathering information for possible future solicitation(s) focused on research and development needed to increase energy efficiency and the potential for demand response in industrial and commercial cold storage facilities, such as refrigerated warehouses and grocers.

The CEC estimates that refrigerated warehouses and grocers use more than 5 terawatts (TWh) of electricity annually for refrigeration with refrigerated warehouses, accounting for 1 TWh of the total. The state has nearly 400 million cubic feet of cold-storage space, and demand for additional cold storage facilities is increasing due to online grocery sales. In a 2015 study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, statewide demand response potential for refrigerated warehouses was estimated to be more than 22.1 megawatts (MW).

The CEC would appreciate your responses to the following questions to help identify target markets and research needs:

The following will help target specific research for industrial and commercial cold storage systems:

  1.  What are examples of advanced or noncommercially available energy efficiency control software packages applicable to refrigeration systems?
  2.  Are there examples of commercial-scale desiccant dryers for refrigeration systems in use? If so, where and what is the application?
  3.  What are examples of retrofit waste heat recovery technologies for refrigeration systems that have been implemented in industrial and commercial cold-storage facilities?
  4.  What emerging technology advancements have the potential to meet the return on investment requirements of industrial and cold-storage facilities?
  5.  What are examples of best practices that could increase the energy efficiency of refrigeration systems that are not widely adopted?
  6. Are there past or current cold-storage projects and related publications, proceedings, or reports you think the California Energy Commission should be aware of to target potential future solicitations?
  7.  In which utility incentive or government programs (energy efficiency and demand response) do industrial and commercial cold-storage facilities generally participate?
  8. What electrical loads can be shifted in industrial and commercial cold-storage facilities? What incentives would encourage them to shift their electrical load? Do these facilities have the ability and possess the equipment to shift electrical load?
  9. What research has been conducted on increasing thermal mass (e.g., adding thermal storage) within a cold-storage facility for greater demand response participation?
  10. Has the current shift to online grocers affected the cold-storage economy? If so, how?
  11. What are some of the major advanced technologies or strategies used to retrofit industrial and commercial cold-storage facilities to keep energy costs low? What are some of the barriers to their use? How can research help overcome these barriers?
  12.  How often do industrial and commercial cold-storage facilities replace inefficient equipment with high-efficiency systems and improve system controls for energy efficiency or reducing cost?
  13.  What is the best way to communicate with industrial and commercial cold-storage facilities regarding energy-efficient and demand response technologies (for example, utility representatives, trade organizations)?
  14. Are there any industrial and commercial cold-storage trade groups or committees that meet periodically to share information on energy-saving programs, technologies, and best practices? If so, what are their names and contact?

The following will help us establish the technology status in California:

  1. Examples of technologies that could increase energy efficiency and load flexibility for industrial and commercial cold storage facilities include:
    • Advanced refrigeration systems (large interrelated systems bringing in variables such as product temperature, grid pricing, and thermal mass).
    • Artificial intelligence (AI)-based software and controls.
    • Advanced coatings on refrigeration/freezer coils to reduce defrost times.
    • Innovative moisture control methods to reduce cooling load (such as desiccant dryers, evaporators, or other energy-efficient means).
    • Thermal energy storage and controls to enable grid flexibility and participation in demand response programs.
    • Deployment of smart control systems and software to optimize system performance to increase energy efficiency, reduce operation and maintenance costs, reduce GHG emissions, and identify system refrigerant leaks and other equipment performance issues that affect equipment lifespan.
  2. Are there any additional technologies that should be included and why?

The following will help us establish performance metrics for commercial and industrial refrigeration systems:

  1. Metrics and performance indicators to evaluate new advanced technologies compared to current commercial equipment include:
    • Electrical energy savings(%).
    • Avoided/reduced maintenance costs ($).
    • Increased system efficiency (COP).
    • Load shift potential (kW/time).
    • Increases in cooling capacity (BTU).
    • Savings for the delivered end product ($).
    • Increase in system operability.
    • Greenhouse gas savings (MTCO2e).
    • Decrease in defrost intervals (time).
  2. Should any of these be excluded and why?
  3. Are there other performance indicators and metrics to consider and why?