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What to expect from a grid-edge DERMS

Sam Bleiberg

March 27, 2020

A host of paradigm shifts in the energy industry have utilities increasingly looking to distributed energy resources (DERs) to meet their demand-side and distribution objectives. More pronounced system peaks, commitments to carbon-free energy, and trends in the adoption of devices such as residential storage and electric vehicles are all leading utilities to prioritize creating a comprehensive DER management strategy.

DERs at the grid-edge traditionally represented an area of complexity and uncertainty for utilities. Without a proactive strategy to manage DERs, assets like residential batteries and EV chargers are invisible to grid operators. And different DER asset classes involve different technical protocols and different operational constraints, frustrating utility efforts to integrate DERs with the grid on their own. With a grid-edge DERMS, utilities receive a full-service solution purpose-built for harnessing value from DERs at scale.

EnergyHub has deployed its Mercury DERMS platform at over 45 utilities. We’ve outlined the capabilities EnergyHub offers to help utilities manage the grid-edge in our new DERMS factsheet.

Download the factsheet

Network-aware grid services

EnergyHub’s Mercury DERMS dynamically orchestrates grid-edge DERs, allowing utilities to use DERs as mission critical resources. Mercury’s ability to deliver multiple types of network-aware grid services ensures that utilities receive maximum value from the DERs they are managing.

With load shaping, the platform intelligently optimizes behind-the-meter assets to operate in such a way that the utility sees a desired load shape (system-wide or at a specific location on the distribution grid).

Used for voltage management, the platform leverages DERs to provide voltage support at specific locations on the distribution grid in order to respond to and prevent both overvoltage and undervoltage scenarios.

A scalable, AI-enabled enterprise platform

EnergyHub’s Mercury DERMS is uniquely capable of providing utilities coordinated control of all classes and brands of DERs – whether utility-owned or customer-owned, front-of-the-meter or behind-the-meter. As utilities look to manage a larger and more diverse mix of grid-edge resources, the Mercury DERMS helps them centralize DER operations to unlock value across the enterprise.

Developed through our experience managing grid-edge DERs for dozens of utilities, the Mercury DERMS platform provides four key differentiators critical for utility success in managing DER portfolios.

Scalability and reliability: The proliferation of grid-edge DERs calls for a tool built to manage a high-degree of complexity. EnergyHub’s platform was built from the ground-up to manage large volumes of individual DER endpoints. The ability for EnergyHub’s platform to scale in terms of the volume of DERs managed, capacity represented, and sophistication and number of grid services configured contributes to utility success both at the outset of programs and as they evolve their DER portfolios over time.

Enterprise platform integrations: The Mercury DERMS allows utilities to deploy coordinated, accurate, and scalable utility operations across the enterprise by integrating with various systems including ADMS, CIS, MDMS, and GIS.

AI-enabled DER control: Intelligently optimizing grid services through an AI-enabled framework ensures that utilities achieve desired outcomes, while taking into consideration the operational, financial, and customer constraints associated with DERs. EnergyHub leverages its expertise in managing customer-owned DERs to factor customer behavior and preferences into its control models.

Diverse DER ecosystem: EnergyHub provides utilities a single interface to access the industry’s largest DER partner ecosystem, including over a dozen connected thermostat providers and leading providers of storage, EV charging equipment, solar inverters, and water heaters. The breadth of this ecosystem allows us to deliver more customer-centric DER programs by maximizing customer choice and engaging with customers in new ways.

The resulting solution for utilities is a customer-centric, scalable, agile, network-aware DERMS. These characteristics make EnergyHub’s Mercury DERMS a critical tool for fully integrated planning and operations as utilities unlock grid, market, and customer value from DERs.

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