Managing grid-edge DERs for grid reliability
Recent performance advances and cost reductions in distributed energy resources (DERs) have led to a proliferation of DERs at the grid-edge. From connected thermostats to electric vehicle chargers, DERs are no longer solely confined to large-scale utility pilot projects - they are increasingly appealing to consumers who want to gain increased independence in how they manage their energy needs. If not managed properly, these grid-edge DERs could start to present significant issues for utilities. If a utility plans properly to manage these assets, they can present tremendous opportunity.
In order to proactively take advantage of this trend, utilities need a distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) that can connect to myriad of DER device classes located at a wide variety of sites across the grid. Such a DERMS must be intelligent, flexible, scalable, and built to manage the unique aspects of grid-edge devices. When properly utilized, the DERMS allows a utility to manage DERs of all sizes across their service territory, whether owned by the utility or the customer, in order to deliver grid services and avoid building and maintaining expensive physical assets.
Legacy DERMS are unlikely to have the ability to respond to the proliferation and complexity of customer-sited DERs. Those DERMS, which were derived from early ADMS or low-tech DRMS software, lack the agility and flexibility needed to respond to greater penetration of DERs as the grid evolves.
This white paper describes how the growth of grid-edge DERs requires a DERMS that was designed and developed with the grid-edge in mind. The paper discusses market drivers, critical DERMS functionality required to manage grid-edge assets, and enabling customers to participate in in utility programs, and gives specific examples on how utilities can use a DERMS to effectively manage their system from the grid-edge to the substation.