Episode #23: ‘Could DERs Have Prevented the Utility Turmoil in California This Summer?’ with Kyle Haas of K&A Consulting - [an Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast]

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The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. At least twice monthly, we connect with an Energy Central Power Industry...

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  • Sep 22, 2020

This item is part of the Distributed Energy Resources - Fall 2020 SPECIAL ISSUE, click here for more

Utilities in the Western United States have had a rough summer, to say the least. In a season that began with them continuing to manage as best as they could with the coronavirus pandemic and its economic implications, a massive heat wave ended up bringing the California grid to its knees and requiring rolling blackouts before a particularly devastating wildfire season created even more problems. Amid these various disasters, citizens understandably look to the utilities to continue to keep their lights on with consistency and reliability, but the market forces driving the grid and the 20th century energy systems that make up the bulk of the utility sector may not be the optimal tools for the job. That’s the opinion of our guest on the podcast this week, at least.

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Kyle Haas is a Program Manager for K&A Consulting where he focuses on solutions in distributed energy resources, or DERs. In this episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast, Kyle guides host Jason Price and producer Matt Chester on a tour of how DERs might have been able to minimize some of the negative grid impacts felt during the past few months in California, as well as provides suggestions for how California’s natural resources and utility infrastructure might be approached in the future to minimize wildfire risk and maximize the ability of the state’s utilities to provide reliability and resilience to their customers.

Key Links:
Kyle Haas’s Energy Central Profile:

Kyle’s response to Q&A on Energy Central on the topic of California’s rolling blackouts:


As a reminder, the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast is always looking for the authors of the most insightful articles and the members with most impactful voices within the Energy Central community to invite them to discuss further so we can dive even deeper into these compelling topics. Posting twice per month (on the second and fourth Tuesdays), we'll seek to connect with professionals in the utility industry who are engaging in creative or innovative work that will be of interest to their colleagues and peers across the Energy Central community. Some podcasts may be a continuation of thought-provoking posts or discussions started in the community or with an industry leader that is interested in sharing their expertise and doing a deeper dive into hot topics or issues relevant to the industry.

The Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast is hosted by Jason PriceCommunity Ambassador of Energy Central. Jason is a Business Development Executive at West Monroe, working in the East Coast Energy and Utilities Group. Jason is joined in the podcast booth by the producer of the podcast, Matt Chester, who is also the Community Manager of Energy Central and energy analyst/independent consultant in energy policy, markets, and technology.  

If you want to be a guest on a future episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast, let us know! We’ll be pulling guests from our community members who submit engaging content that gets our community talking, and perhaps that next guest will be you! Likewise, if you see an article submitted by a fellow Energy Central community member that you’d like to see broken down in more detail in a conversation, feel free to send us a note to nominate them.  For more information, contact us at Podcast interviews are free for Expert Members and professionals who work for a utility.  We have package offers available for solution providers and vendors. 

Happy listening, and stay tuned for the next episode in a few weeks! Like what you hear, have a suggestion for future episodes, or a question for our guest? Leave a note in the comments below.

All new episodes of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast will be posted to the relevant Energy Central community group, but you can also subscribe to the podcast at all the major podcast outlets, including:


Thanks to the sponsors of this episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast: West Monroe, Esri, Guidehouse, and Hancock Software


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