top of page

Articles

  • Writer's pictureMirka Karra

Harnessing Distributed Energy Resources (DERs): the key to better grid management



In the dynamic energy landscape, utilities face a monumental challenge: integrating and managing residential Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in the low voltage network while maintaining grid stability. DERs, such as solar panels, electric vehicles (EVs), and battery storage systems, hold immense promise for cleaner energy generation and consumption. However, the lack of visibility into low-voltage networks poses a significant hurdle in harnessing their full potential.


The visibility challenge

Utility insight into DER behavior and impact is limited, hindering effective grid optimization and planning. Without data on residential DERs, particularly with an eye on the low voltage network, utilities cannot make informed decisions about grid investments and infrastructure upgrades. This dearth of information also impedes the development of automated demand response programs, which could minimize peak demand and alleviate the need for costly grid enhancements.


Striking the right balance

Imagine a scenario where utilities have access to detailed information about every residential distributed energy resource connected to their grid. With this level of visibility, utilities would be able to make more informed decisions about how to invest in building out only the necessary capacity for their grid. For example, they could use the information to extend the lifetime of transformers by accurately knowing how many EVs and what kind of EV chargers are sitting at specific residences or transformers, thus optimizing distribution capacity. They could also leverage this information to build behavioral and automated demand response programs engaging residential DERs to balance supply and demand (whenever higher data resolution is available), thus reducing peak demand and minimizing the need for costly infrastructure upgrades.


Innovative endeavors

Recognizing the transformative potential of DERs, industry leaders are investing in cutting-edge technologies to address visibility challenges. Recently, Darcy Partners highlighted the top 10 DER innovators, with NET2GRID's EnergyAI technology standing out as an important player in the field. They highlighted as well how invaluable insights into DER’s performance, empowers utilities to optimize grid operations and unlock the full value of distributed energy resources.


Collaboration takes center stage

Moreover, industry giants like Itron are spearheading efforts to harness the power of distributed intelligence and artificial intelligence to address DER challenges. Itron’s Distributed Intelligence ecosystem is built on this exact motto: to provide turnkey solutions to enable utilities to advance distributed energy and decarbonization objectives, while optimizing and enhancing their distribution grids. Collaborations between companies like Itron and NET2GRID underscore the importance of partnership in driving DER integration and grid modernization efforts forward. Through collaborative efforts, utilities can leverage advanced technologies to navigate the distributed energy revolution, unlock the full potential of DERs, and pave the way for a smarter, greener energy ecosystem.


‘’Utilities and consumers can now take advantage of the benefits of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), optimize their energy consumption, reduce their carbon footprints, and embrace the future of EV integration and grid modernization. The collaboration between Itron and NET2GRID unleashes a powerful combination of distributed intelligence functionality with EnergyAI insights’’ Itron 


Comments


bottom of page