What’s the difference – and why should you care?
There are a lot of acronyms floating around the energy world these days. It’s a veritable alphabet soup of evolving terms that are often hard to distinguish from one another. This is especially true when it comes to distributed energy – it’s a relatively new concept in and of itself, and when the terms that define this evolving move to the grid edge aren’t inherently self-defining, the ensuing confusion complicates the equation. What’s the difference between DERs and a DERMS? And what’s the definition of a DERMS versus a VPP? Just as important what difference does it make?
These are questions that those of us at Enbala are asked to address time and time again. And the answers are surprisingimportant. A utility that needs a VPP but is creating an RFP for a DERMS may find itself taking more up-front risk than necessary, and one that really needs a DERMS but is looking at a VPP may find itself coming up short when it comes to distribution-level grid control. Both control and manage DERs, but there are fundamental and important differences that impact the ROI and evolution of these systems.
To help our clients and others in the industry better assess what’s what when it comes to distributed energy and the ways in which VPPs and DERMS optimize and control it, Enbala has embarked upon a new series of thought leadership pieces. The first piece is an introduction that sets the stage for the chapters to follow, which cover the ins and outs of successful DER management.
Then stay tuned for Chapter 1 of the series, which we’ll be sending out in February. This chapter will provide a solid overview of virtual power plants – yep, that’s those VPPs we’ve been talking about. We hope you enjoy the new series and welcome your feedback.