ORIGINAL REPORTING: Why They Are Solar Power Players
Solar Power Players: SEPA honorees look beyond the rooftop to manage dynamic grids; Distributed solar is just the first challenge coming to the grid edge. These utilities are tackling what's next.
Herman K. Trabish, September 12, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The award-winning innovations described here continue to lead the way in the solar industry.
The shift in the solar industry toward the integration of a fuller slate of distributed resources like customer-sited storage, smart inverters, and new grid management software prompted the former Solar Electric Power Alliance to change its name to the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA). That shift was evident in SEPA’s Solar Power Player 2016 awards. The winners show how utilities and industry partners can get beyond policy debates, to solutions that allow solar and other distributed technologies to provide grid services as well as savings to utility customers.
This year’s awards show that both utilities and private providers are also thinking beyond rooftop solar and other forms of distributed generation. Several of the awards are for ways to manage the many distributed energy resources (DER) customers are clamoring for and grid operators can use to strengthen and stabilize their systems. For example, the Hawaiian Electric Companies Dora Nakafuji was the Solar Power Champion for designing a more autonomous way to integrate distributed resources. The Village of Minster, Ohio, Municipal Utility was named Public Power Utility of the year for integrating community solar and grid-scale battery energy storage… click here for more
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