New Tech, Gadgets Helping Balance Renewable Energy Resources in Today’s Electrical Grid

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Lisa Cohn, managing editor at Microgrid Knowledge, interviewed Kay Aikin, CEO of Dynamic Grid, during Microgrid Global 2020. Cohn and Aikin discussed the vision of Dynamic Grid and how new technology is helping balance renewable energy resources in the electrical grid.

 

“Dynamic Grid’s vision is really to enable the autonomous optimization of the electrical grid, DERs [distributed energy resources] and loads to benefit building owners, occupants and the grid overall,” said Aikin.

She explained that Dynamic Grid works to make energy loads more flexible and helps balance renewable energy in the electrical grid. The company operates across the entire spectrum of the grid, from utilities down to individual customers — selling mostly to microgrid owners, commercial industrial buildings and utilities.

“We will probably, over the years, start working with retailers to actually sell to customers who are in utilities that are using our technology,” she added.

Aikin shared there are two key points that drive her company’s success and momentum in the energy market.

First, “we have superior resource allocation algorithms. I believe we have the best algorithms in the business for making those loads flexible and help balance renewable energy,” Aikin said.

The second? Dynamic Grid’s “really cool little gadgets,” Aikin pointed out during the interview.

These include tools such as the Utility Gateway, which creates a real-time price on the electrical grid for energy, using historic data and predictions to create what Dynamic Grid calls an “economic dispatch value.”

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“And that’s what allows things like heat pumps and hot water heaters to decide when they want to use power, which helps balance renewable energy,” Aikin said.

This balanced energy then goes to the power poles.

“So there might be one or two of these [Utility Gateways] every mile of a utility’s electrical system, and that’s creating a very, very localized price, which helps balance the grid in pieces — a mile here, a mile there — and then you have a whole balance over the entire grid,” Aikin explained.

The company is currently involved in a variety of microgrid projects, many of which will utilize more of these energy “gadgets” — like advanced microgrid controllers — in the coming months.

Aikin shared the company is working on a project in Isle au Haut, Maine, and has projects coming up in Israel and West Africa as well.

Follow Executive Interviews from Microgrid 2020 Global, published regularly on Microgrid Knowledge.

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