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This research examines the use of autonomous demand response to provide primary frequency control in an interconnected grid. The work builds on previous studies in several key areas: it uses a large realistic model; it establishes a set of metrics which can be used to assess the effectiveness of autonomous demand response; and it independently adjusts various parameters associated with using autonomous demand response to assess effectiveness and to examine possible threats or vulnerabilities associated with the technology. More than 6,000 simulations of the power system model were conducted during the course of the study. The studies demonstrated that very few conditions associated with autonomous demand response have the potential to degrade reliability, and that the marginal benefit attributable to autonomous demand response is quantifiable and can be used to determine the value of the technology, as compared to traditional means, for providing primary frequency control.