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

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

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

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

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

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 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

Postcard From the Future: VPPs in Australia

By Peter Asmus on Sep 25, 2019 12:30:37 PM

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

Australian consumers boast one of the highest per capita consumption rates of electricity in the world (even greater than the U.S.). These consumption levels translate into flexible load resources ideal for aggregation and optimization into virtual power plants (VPPs).

What is a VPP? Think of it as a conglomeration of many distributed energy resources (DERs -- loads, but also generation, batteries and electric vehicles -- that can be combined into a pool whose sum of parts’ value is far larger than these DER assets offer individually. With sophisticated artificial intelligence software, these resources scattered across the grid can be combined “virtually” to provide the same services as a traditional 24/7 power plant -- but at much lower and environmental cost.

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

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