NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: 'The future grid' and aggregated distributed energy resources

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    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: 'The future grid' and aggregated distributed energy resources

    'The future grid': How one DOE program is pushing the boundaries of aggregated DERs; ARPA-E is funding research aimed at fuller coordination of distributed resources on the grid

    Herman K. Trabish, February 4, 2016 (Utility Dive)

    Since it was first funded by the Obama administration's stimulus act in 2009, the Department of Energy's advanced technology research arm has doled out millions to support path-breaking research in New Energy. Now, as utilities become increasingly comfortable with new distributed energy resources, the agency is turning its sights to research on how to make all the new technologies on the grid operate as one. The DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced grants in December totaling $33 million for 12 projects aimed at creating automated systems to operate DERs through its Network Optimized Distributed Energy Systems (NODES) program.

    NODES specifically looks to fund teams of experts in power systems, control systems, computer science and distributed systems aimed at improving grid efficiency, slash carbon emissions and lower energy-delivery line losses. It is about the future grid. From the grid operator’s point of view, aggregated, automated DERs will look like fast response reserves, ramping reserves, or day-ahead planning reserves and provide a specific and reliable response. But like many technological endeavors, only one or two projects will be homeruns that develop into commercial successes. No one knows what the U.S. electricity delivery system will eventually look like and the uncertainty is difficult for utilities, but whatever it is, the demand for services from aggregated resources is likely to grow… click here for more

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