Enbala Blog

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

2020 New York Climate Week : Where The World Is Going

By Lana Gonoratsky on Sep 30, 2020 9:30:00 AM

As part of last week's 2020 New York Climate Week, Credit Suisse and Dynamo Energy Hub co-hosted an informative online panel in collaboration with IBM. The panel, titled Cleantech, Collaboration and Climate Action: Driving the Clean Energy Transition Through COVID-19, brought together industry leaders to discuss their experiences and insights on trends over the previous — very disruptive — six months.

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Topics: clean energy, climate change, COVID-19, Cleantech, New York Climate Week

A New Day Dawns for DERs in U.S. Wholesale Markets

By Bud Vos on Sep 22, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Two years ago, Enbala posted a blog that posed a proverbial 64 dollar question. Noting that “DERs are becoming so entrenched in the daily operations of the grid that it’s tempting to ponder just where their limitations lay,” we then asked, “Can DERs play in utility wholesale markets?”

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Topics: Solar, battery storage, DERs, battery energy storage, distributed energy, energy markets, EVs, wholesale utility, FERC Order 2222

Balancing Supply and Demand in the Power System

By Malcolm Metcalfe on Sep 2, 2020 9:15:00 AM
Everything you always wanted to know about power systems but were too afraid to ask

Part 1 of Malcolm Metcalfe's Power System Primer

There are two distinctly different methods used to balance supply and demand. These are:

  1. Balancing supply/demand in an isolated system (one that is not interconnected with the larger grid. Examples are local systems to power a remote location).
  2. Balancing supply/demand in an interconnected system, where a utility is a part of a major interconnection of many utilities.
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Topics: grid balance, energy balance, microgrid, energy supply/demand balance

Trends in Behind-the-Meter DERs

By Ginger Juhl on Aug 20, 2020 1:00:00 PM

Like countless industry associations, the Smart Electric Power Organization—better known as SEPA—had planned to hold its annual Grid Evolution Summit this year in Washington, DC. But rather than kicking off as planned, the yearly event “clicked on” in mid-July, with a virtual format that included several live sessions, followed in August by pre-recorded “bonus sessions” focused on topics with a high degree of interest and relevance to today’s utility industry.

One of the topics covered Trends in Behind-the-Meter Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), and Enbala CEO Bud Vos was one of the featured speakers, providing insights on how grid operators and utilities can manage DERs at the microgrid, virtual power plant (VPP) and distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) levels. Speakers also explored how DER management trends impact value streams, market opportunities and grid services across various use cases.

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Topics: DERs, DERMs, virtual power plant, VPPs, microgrid, SEPA

The 20/20 of 2020: What Will We See in the Rearview Mirror?

By Ginger Juhl on Jul 9, 2020 12:34:59 PM

I think it’s safe to say that, with the possible exception of a psychic or two who claim to have predicted the global pandemic that we’re all hoping would stop plaguing us, none of us had any idea that 2020 would be turned on its ear by a virus we’d never heard of a few short months ago. We’re all wondering what the short- and long-term impacts will be on all aspects of our lives, and at Enbala, we’ve been studying, pondering and prognosticating what the impact will be on the world’s evolution to distributed energy resources — and a greener, more sustainable energy future.

  • Will business and residential customers continue to demand clean energy alternatives, and how will the answer to this question impact the market for renewables?
  • How long will overall reductions in electricity demand persist, and how will the ramifications impact short- and long-term energy costs and the impact of these costs as drivers for cleaner energy alternatives?
  • Can an increased focus on distributed energy resources help speed recovery from the pandemic?
  • How will on-again, off-again stay-at-home orders and summer high-demand expectations impact grid reliability/stability, and how can distributed energy resources help?

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Topics: clean energy, distributed energy, Renewables, COVID-19

How DERs Support Grid Resiliency in California

By Lana Gonoratsky on May 29, 2020 9:00:00 AM

In 1994, California restructured its electricity market, introducing competition as a theoretical means to bring down the price of power. The end-goal was to help revive an economy that was struggling due to a blend of issues, including high energy costs that were driving major manufacturing companies to leave the state, taking jobs and expendable income with them.

But despite good intentions, the restructured system lacked normal power market stabilizers. This, coupled with sharp, adverse changes in supply and demand, led to opportunistic (and occasionally illegal) behavior from out-of-state energy traders that caused power shortages, extreme price spikes and rolling blackouts during the infamous California Electricity Crisis of 2000-01.

A decade later, as California’s two major utilities teetered on bankruptcy and immense uncertainty, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) established a policy framework in 2004 to prevent this from happening again. The resulting Resource Adequacy (RA) program created the rules for how load-serving entities (LSEs) contract for electricity capacity to ensure demand is met in case of an unexpected event.

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Topics: DERs, distributed energy, resource adequacy, proxy demand response

The Growing Impact of System Loss

By Malcolm Metcalfe on Apr 14, 2020 9:45:00 AM

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) suggests that the multi-year historical average for transmission and distribution losses in the US power grid are approximately 5% annually (average of annual losses in 2014 through 2018).

More recent data for 2018 suggests that the loss has increased to 6.6%, which, by any account,is significant. Put in perspective, the actual loss in 2018 amounted to 275 TWh. The average retail price of electricity in 2018 was $105.30/MWh, meaning that this loss was valued at $29 billion. The increase in loss from about 5% to more than 6.6% has resulted in increased costs of loss by almost $7 billion.

What is causing the increased loss, and what, if anything, can be done to manage it?

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Topics: T&D system loss

The Utility Industry in the Time of Covid-19

By Ginger Juhl on Mar 31, 2020 9:15:00 AM

I’m wondering how everyone out there is doing today. As I sit down to write this blog, many thoughts and ideas swim through my head about what to write. Should I ruminate on how the virus that has turned all our lives upside down will impact the utility industry? Should I speculate on what the future will bring, offering theories on how long this will last and the different scenarios that might play out when summer peak loads arrive? Or perhaps offer beacons of hope and optimism? 

The French author Andre Gide coined an oft-copied phrase, “Everything that needs to be said has already been said,” and in this case, there is a lot of truth in that.  The virus is all anyone has been talking and thinking about for days, weeks or months now—depending on where you happen to live. Many of us, including me, are experiencing serious information overload; I feel like I’ve been drinking from a fire hose.

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Topics: DERs, clean energy, virtual power plant, distributed energy, Utility

The European Take on Virtual Power Plants

By Peter Asmus on Dec 12, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Guest blogger Peter Asmus of Navigant Research writes about the virtual power plant market in Europe. 

Europe, considered the birthplace of the virtual power plants (VPPs), is pushing the envelope on the concept. The continent is adapting platforms to provide new and more sophisticated capabilities to maximize the value of flexibility resources while opening doors to new value streams linked to creative ancillary service markets and real-time energy trading.

Historically, the European VPP market has centered on renewable energy integration. While this remains the case today, a shift is underway to learn from other evolving VPP markets in Canada, Australia, and Japan. The new focus includes integration of demand side resources as well as energy storage and EVs. Today, virtually anything that produces, consumes, or stores electricity (or energy) is a candidate for VPP inclusion. 

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Topics: photovoltaic, Solar, DERs, DERMs, demand response, virtual power plant, flexible load, VPP, energy storage, Navigant Research, Enbala

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