ORIGINAL REPORTING: Making Small Distributed Resources Grid-Big
Connecting the dots: PG&E DERMs pilot aims to manage multiple aggregator platforms; PG&E wants a distributed resource management system that can interact with any vendor's software
Herman K. Trabish, July 29, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The work to intergrate distributed resources into grid systems continues across the country but policymakers are finding the complications worthy of pilots like the one described in this story.
Using smart inverters, residential battery storage and General Electric’s Distributed Resource Management System (DERMS), Pacific Gas & Electric is working on a pilot project to see how the technologies can strengthen the system…The ultimate goal is to see how distributed energy resource (DER) hardware and utility and aggregator operating platforms work together. If successful, the pilot project could set the stage to bring DER aggregations into utility operations. Mark Esguerra, principle of distribution planning at PG&E, said this demonstration is in anticipation of growing DER adoption among customers. Right now, PG&E has more than 250,000 customers using 1,700 MW of rooftop solar, as well as 65,000 electric vehicles (EVs) charging on its system.
The demonstration project has attracted attention from major companies. SolarCity will provide the residential battery system and software to showcase how it can perform on a technical scale, and how its software program can mediate between the storage and the utility. Enphase sees an opportunity to break ground by testing smart inverters at customer-sited solar installations. For PG&E, the pilot is expected to help answer critical technology questions and plan investments to support the future high-DER penetration grid. GE's DERMS platform could help PG&E enable the participation of aggregated DERs in markets run by California’s bulk electricity system operator… click here for more