A NEW BUSINESS MODEL? THE UTILITY AS THE NETWORK ORCHESTRATOR:
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of articles and blogs these days begin with the now-obvious observation that the grid is moving from a centralized model to a decentralized one. Often, these pronouncements are offered in a tone that seems like the speaker is wrinkling his brow with worry, wringing his hands … and probably sweating a little, too. Such anxiety is likely over doing it.
In reality, the opportunities presented by distributed energy resources (DERs) far outweigh the challenges that ubiquitous adoption of them may bring. DERs are going to help us green up our grid with more renewables, clean up our atmosphere, improve reliability and form new alliances between power providers and customers.
To bring these benefits about, power providers will need to expand their business models a little. Instead of being asset builders who make their money off the generation they construct and energy they send whizzing down the power line, it’s time to look at making money from the role of orchestrators who direct the energy, storage and flexibility DERs can deliver.