White Paper

The Time for DERMS is Now

Posted to PXiSE Energy Solutions in the Digital Utility Group
image credit: PXiSE
Hanna Grene's picture
Chief of Commercial Development PXiSE

Hanna is the Chief of Commercial Development of PXiSE (pronounced ‘pice’), a company offering grid management technology, primarily software, to integrate and manage renewable and distributed...

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  • Feb 24, 2021 7:45 pm GMT
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Across the globe, communities are facing the issue of how to incorporate decentralized, home-grown energy sources into the grid without impacting grid stability. To do so, utilities need to engage with a spectrum of energy “prosumers” and then manage various resources from residential solar panels to traditional gas or diesel power plants.

Managing all of these resources while minimizing reverse power flows and intermittency issues is a huge challenge. Failure to do so results in major wasted opportunity when it comes to utilizing greener energy sources, lowering our collective carbon footprint, reducing fuel usage, and lowering costs for both utilities and consumers.

DERMS - distributed energy resource management systems - are the key to unlocking community renewable energy potential. While many believe DERMS to be a thing of the future, something to be considered after further development, DERMS solutions are being utilized right now, and have far-reaching potential today to accelerate zero-carbon energy ambitions.

PXiSE teamed up with Australia’s Horizon Power to create the first fully implemented DERMS in the world, which went live in 2020. This week, in partnership with Guidehouse, we’ve released a whitepaper exploring how the system was designed and implemented, and how it’s already made an impact on Western Australia’s greening grid.

Horizon Power is a utility in Western Australia serving an enormous remote area five times the size of California. It faced a unique challenge in the coastal town of Onslow: how to effectively manage a broad array of power sources and distribute it to a range of isolated communities while ensuring reliability.

To meet this challenge, Horizon Power deployed a state-of-the-art DERMS from PXiSE that uses two-way, sensor-based technology to monitor the grid in real time, mitigating disturbances and balancing variable solar generation, energy storage, and other available resources, including customer demand.

This deployment has already led to several notable achievements:

  • A three-fold increase in renewable hosting capacity
  • Reduced DER communication bandwidth traffic usage by 75%, resulting in direct ongoing cost savings
  • The 11 MW microgrid is expected to reduce natural gas consumption by over 55,000 GJ, lowering costs across its entire network while also eliminating 3,000 metric tons of CO2 annually

These results can be replicated and even amplified now in other grids around the world. To learn how we did it, download the Whitepaper here!

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PXiSE Energy Solutions
PXiSE (pronounced ‘pice’) offers real-time and distributed grid control solutions that unlock the potential of distributed generation to improve reliability and increase renewable energy output while helping ensure system balance and power quality.
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Rick Chalker's picture
Rick Chalker on Mar 5, 2021

The US does not need to go all the way to Western Australia to learn how to effectively manage a broad array of power sources and distribute it while ensuring reliability. Look at the Florida grid, all the interconnections, AI, monitoring and controls, renewables, distributed energy capabilities, battery storage, and most importantly the grid system control and management.

If states had the great utility management and state regulatory agency that worked together and understood their individual roles in cost containment, planning, safety and security, anything is possible. FPL rates are among the lowest in the US and it has developed the most robust renewable portfolio, sans wind power, that together with natural gas and nuclear have created a very robust energy package. FPL will soon be one of the largest US utility companies utilization battery storage and they are beginning to integrate hydrogen power. All totally integrated. 

Duke Energy and Tampa Electric are beginning to follow the FPL lead. The downside to the state of Florida are the many government operated systems that have locked municipalities into long-term contracts using fossil fuels, costly landfill gas and other generating capacity which keeps rates high. Many municipal utilities that could immediately cut the electricity rates of their users are unable to do so because they are locked into these generating assets that are old and antiquated. Government bureaucrats with good intentions have created the problems consumers now face. 

The Florida legislature could solve this problem by eliminating REA's, FMPA, and the other 15 or so non-investor owned utilities. Small utilities, especially municipal utilities, have a much more difficult time transitioning to future green energy options and present more problems with operating the state-wide grid. But that's politics. 

 

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