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2019 DERs Continue Their Rapid Penetration on our Distribution Networks

Posted to GridIntellect, LLC – A Veteran-owned Company in the Grid Professionals Group
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Stuart McCafferty's picture
President GridIntellect

Curious researcher, technologist, distributed energy expert, and climate change believer.  Genuinely focused on doing good for the industry and the future.

  • Member since 2018
  • 100 items added with 74,226 views
  • Jan 22, 2019 12:00 am GMT
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-01 - Predictions & Trends, click here for more

Establishing new Distribution System Operator (DSO) functions that include an open and transparent distribution market is the next evolutionary step required to create a “new energy economy” that empowers utilities, consumers, producers, third-party aggregators, technologists, and new business models to create more efficiencies, cleaner and cheaper power, better reliability and more resilience.  The DSO functions and different models described in DSO Models for Utility Stakeholders – DSO Organizational Models for a Digital, Distributed Modern Grid lay the foundation for considering how to enable this new energy economy ecosystem from an organizational standpoint based on local politics, regulatory environment, grid constraints, and other local considerations.

We have reached the tipping point where Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) can be purchased by businesses and homeowners at prices that have justifiable Returns on Investment (ROI).  This is especially true as energy prices increase and the price of DERs decreases.  Regulators, ISOs and utilities are studying the concept of creating a DSO that would animate new distribution markets and engage DER owners.  The idea of “democratizing” distribution networks and allowing individual DER owners an opportunity to participate in grid services could lead to lower energy costs, a decarbonized power generation economy, and greater efficiencies, resilience, power quality, and reliability.

The societal and economic benefits of establishing DSO capabilities will create an ecosystem ripe for research, innovation, and new businesses.  It will enable and complement electric transportation, renewable energy, and more efficient homes and businesses. Establishing a DSO in a thoughtful, practical, and tailored way is the next step necessary to jump start our next industrial revolution.

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