Generac Grid Services Blog

Eversource Is Illustrating the Versatility of DERMS Solutions

By Peter Asmus on Sep 16, 2021 9:15:00 AM
This blog post is authored by special guest Peter Asmus of Guidehouse Insights

Utilities, governments and major corporations alike are committing to 100% clean energy goals in the coming decades. Utilities will need to lean on smart software platforms, such as a distributed energy resources management systems (DERMS), to keep grids that are increasingly dependent upon variable renewables, such as wind and solar, in balance. 

These highly sophisticated platforms enable greater control and interoperability across heterogeneous grid elements. The value of DER assets can only be fully realized if they are integrated at customer sites and brought into a grid network to create shared value. At Guidehouse Insights, we use the term Energy Cloud to describe this transition. 

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Topics: DERs, DERMs, clean energy, demand response, utility innovation, virtual power plant, distributed energy, Eversource

Reliability & Resiliency: The reality is—we need both.

By Jessie Mehrhoff on Aug 31, 2021 9:15:00 AM

Earlier this summer, I posted about the extreme heat wave challenging the Pacific Northwest. The summer has brought a myriad of challenges around the Northern Hemisphere. From flooding in Europe to wildfires across the West, severe weather and changing climate patterns continue to strain electric power grid operators tasked with keeping lights on in homes, businesses and critical facilities. In the utility world, the term “resiliency” is offered daily as the goal. “Keep the power grid resilient.” Distributed energy resources (DERs) play a critical role in achieving these targets in two complementary ways. At the risk of sounding pedantic, we need to address reliability at the grid level and resiliency at the end customer site.

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Topics: distributed energy resources, DERs, DERMs, virtual power plant, grid stability, grid resiliency, resiliency as a service, power outage

Challenging Times

By Malcolm Metcalfe on Aug 16, 2021 1:39:24 PM

I was recently invited to meet with a class of students studying energy and the future, and as a part of the session, I was asked to prepare a challenge for the students to work through. The result was interesting and showed a glimpse of what may lie ahead. It will certainly be a challenge that will require innovation, new concepts and a lot of hard work.

I showed a small area, powered by an electric utility (20% of total energy), natural gas (25% of local energy) and petroleum products (45% of total energy). The electric utility had capability to increase its energy delivered by about 25% in the next decade, and the students were asked to show how to minimize the emissions in that timeframe. They were free to add solar thermal or solar PV capacity to the system.

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Topics: distributed energy resources, Solar energy, grid optimization, renewable energy, demand response

North American Demand Response Season Starts Strong with Heat Wave

By Jessie Mehrhoff on Jul 6, 2021 8:19:13 AM

At the start of the summer demand response season in North America, grid operators have already used Enbala's Concerto™ platform to dispatch about 100 events to keep the grid stable as heat waves settled upon the western half of North America. Our thoughts are with those in the extreme heat, and we know that describing rising temperatures — coupled with wildfires and severe weather — as "disruptive" is an understatement. However, high temperatures point to the need for distributed energy resource (DER) orchestration to keep the grid stable and to help keep utility customers as comfortable as possible.

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Topics: distributed energy resources, demand response, grid reliability, heat wave

IEA’s Roadmap to 2050: Net Zero or Bust

By Lana Gonoratsky on May 25, 2021 9:30:54 AM

It’s all about “commitments to zero” these days. The urgency of climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions has seen many influential organizations making commitments to Net Zero by 2050, including the Biden administration, 73 electric utilities across the United States, global energy giants like Shell and Equinor and the German parliament. The International Energy Agency (IEA) identified that the number of countries which have pledged to achieve net‐zero emissions has grown rapidly over the last year and now covers around 70 %of global emissions of CO2. However, the changes required to reach net‐zero emissions globally are poorly understood. As a result, IEA published its Achieving Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector.” They identified that, despite all the hype, if all announced national net-zero pledges are achieved in full and on time, whether or not they are currently underpinned by specific policies, goal acquisition will still fall well short of what is necessary to reach global net‐zero emissions by 2050.

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Topics: distributed energy resources, clean energy, Renewables, Net zero, sustainability, EV, energy flexibility

Enbala Can Green the Energy System Today

By Jessie Mehrhoff on Apr 20, 2021 10:00:00 AM

I describe myself as a technological optimist—well, within reason. I don’t think that Moore’s Law, the notion that our computing capabilities double every couple of years, permits humans to continue reckless consumption and assume that we’ll be able to innovate our way out of any self-created calamity. I also fear technology’s risk of generating moral hazards; just because we are learning how to capture, sequester, and use some carbon dioxide does not mean we can otherwise continue to emit it recklessly. Joining the Enbala team, however, I do recognize we have the tools at our disposal to reduce the economic and environmental costs to power our society.

Enbala’s Concerto™ software platform, combined with distributed energy resources (DER), creates a balanced, sustainable energy future. I joined this company because I believe that such a future isn’t far away, and if we put our hearts and minds into transforming the energy system, we can green it today.

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Topics: DERs, DERMs, clean energy, distributed energy, VPP

Climate — An Action Plan Optimized for Minimum Pain

By Malcolm Metcalfe on Mar 22, 2021 9:15:00 AM

Climate action is on most people’s minds these days, and many view it as an industrial problem that governments can force industry to solve. But given that the International Energy Agency has identified the SUV as the second largest cause of the global rise in carbon dioxide emissions over the past decade, it’s clear that climate change is not just an industry problem. In fact, it’s been stated that if SUV drivers were a nation, they would rank seventh in the world for carbon emissions.

Climate change is everyone’s problem, and careful thought and planning are needed to reduce fossil fuel emissions with minimal impact on our quality of life and cost of living.

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Topics: carbon emissions, EVs, climate change

2021: Do We Dare Offer Some Predictions?

By Ginger Juhl on Jan 28, 2021 12:18:01 PM

Last year, when we put together our predictions for 2020, we missed one very important, game-changing element: COVID-19. And today, while still in the midst of the pandemic that has turned the world on end, we once again engage our collective brainpower to foretell what the coming months will bring.

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Topics: Solar energy, DERs, DERMs, clean energy, distributed energy, VPPs, EVs, energy future

How Modern DERMS Technology Can Minimize Waste and Improve Grid Performance

By Eric Young on Nov 30, 2020 11:00:00 AM

A few days ago, we were contacted by an interested professional in Norway who had read our newest white paper, which I co-wrote with Guidehouse Insights to dispel the many myths surround distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS). He posited that Norway may be the world’s largest distributed energy resource (DER) system, noting that 90+ percent of the country’s electricity comes from numerous local, but interconnected, hydro stations. He pointed out that when rainfall is high, electricity is relatively inexpensive and that when it’s low, coal-fired power needs to be imported — a dynamic that’s changing with Norway’s ongoing construction of wind power. Noting that the country’s grid has operated for many years without 21st century grid management, he pondered what could be done with modern DERMS technology to minimize waste and improve the performance of the grid.

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Topics: Distributed energy resource management, DERMs, virtual power plant, distributed energy

Acquisitions Signal iDER Strategies Moving into the Mainstream

By Peter Asmus on Oct 28, 2020 1:05:43 PM

Guest blogger Peter Asmus of Guidehouse Insights writes about the changing DERMS market

The concept of integrated distributed energy resources (iDER) is a broad umbrella. Under this umbrella are platforms designed to maximize shared value across the energy ecosystem landscape. A recent Guidehouse white paper referencing virtual power plants (VPPs) and distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) spells out why iDER strategies are necessary platforms to keep the grid in balance. Two recent acquisitions reinforce the message that these platforms are mature and are moving into the mainstream.

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Topics: DERMs, distributed energy, Generac

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