ORIGINAL REPORTING: Distributed Energy Resources Need A Whole New System
Edison Reimagines California’s Distribution System
Herman K. Trabish, January 5, 2021 (California Current)
Editor’s note: The decade-long work to design and build the distribution system needed for tomorrow’s power system has begun.
Distributed energy’s explosive growth makes integrating it in a way that supports the power system critical, according to a new white paper from Southern California Edison.
The paper forecasts significant growth of distributed energy resources (DER) in California and “we want to have the system technologies to see and manage their impacts,” SCE VP of Asset Management, Strategy & Engineering Paul Grigaux said. SCE’s Reimagining the Grid aims to guide “where and why we should turn right or turn left in building a distribution system to address evolving needs,” he added.
The new white paper is the next phase of a debate that started with SCE’s 2018 rate case and is leading to alignment between utilities and DER advocates, Grigaux said. Agreement is increasing between California regulators and other stakeholders about a quickly evolving future. SCE’s grid evolution proposal is at the “cutting edge” of distribution system planning, Vote Solar Senior Director for Grid Integration Ed Smeloff agreed. Both its vision and call for collaboration with other stakeholders are important, he added.
Greater reliance on variable wind and solar resources and the growth of DER will require managing “challenges to safety, grid stability, asset condition, reliability and resilience.” That is according to SCE’s newest addition to its Pathway 2045 vision of how to meet California’s net zero emissions mandate set for 2045… click here for more