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EPRI launches tool to evaluate distributed energy resource additions to the grid

DW Keefer's picture
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DW Keefer is a Denver-based energy journalist who writes extensively for national and international publications on all forms of electric power generation, utility regulation, business models...

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  • May 26, 2021 10:13 am GMT
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The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) launched a Distributed Energy Resource Value Estimation Tool (DER-VET) to increase grid flexibility as more distributed energy resources (DER) are integrated into a cleaner electric grid.

The tool provides a free, publicly accessible, open-source platform for calculating, understanding, and optimizing the value of DER based on their technical merits and constraints. DER-VET was developed in collaboration with the California Energy Commission (CEC).

"DER-VET empowers developers, utilities, and regulators across the electric power industry to make better-informed DER application decisions based on a comprehensive, real-world dataset," said Daniel Brooks, Vice President of Integrated Grid and Energy Systems at EPRI. "Innovative tools are essential to capturing more value from increasingly complex DER solutions that enable greater electric grid flexibility and reliability."

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An extension of EPRI's StorageVET tool, DER-VET supports site-specific assessments for energy storage and additional DER technologies. Applications across the grid include valuations and impacts of energy storage, solar, wind, demand response, electric vehicle (EV) charging, internal combustion engines, and combined heat and power—in different configurations, such as microgrids. Site conditions, load, and other data are used to determine the optimal size, duration, and other operational characteristics for maximizing DER project benefits.

"Investments in clean energy innovation, such as the CEC's EPIC grant supporting the development of DER-VET, are critical to accelerating California's transition to a carbon-free energy system," said David Hochschild, Chair, CEC. "This tool is another important link in making better use of, and better integrating, our renewable and distributed energy resources supporting a more dynamic, responsive, and reliable grid."

StorageVET, EPRI's storage value estimation tool and the predecessor to DER-VET, helps decision makers determine where to place and install energy storage, the optimum size, and which controls to include. StorageVET also improves energy storage project planning by enabling rapid analysis of scenarios with different storage sizes, costs, and value streams.

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