Flexibility: Key to the success of the distributed energy transition
- Feb 23, 2022 2:07 am GMT
This item is part of the Business Side of Running a Utility in 2022 - February 2022 SPECIAL ISSUE, click here for more
As the country continues to march towards a decentralized energy system, traditional utility business models and processes will inevitably be impacted. Current federal and state legislation enacted to help combat climate change has resulted in the rapid deployment of distributed energy resources (DERs) including solar, wind, electric vehicles (EVs), batteries, and other communicating loads. Proposed federal legislation, such as elements of the Build Back Better Act, will only serve to accelerate the adoption of DERs through favorable tax treatment.
Widespread adoption of DERs will cause load to act in novel ways on the distribution grid. The utility business model of the future will need to be flexible. New, innovative rate structures will also need to be flexible to engender the desired public policy outcomes that are spurring the deployment of DERs. Grid edge monitoring and control technologies will be critical for utilities as they develop rate designs and Time of Use (TOU) periods to help accommodate the unique operational characteristics of DERs and help ensure that we are collectively move towards a low carbon future.
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