DERMS can provide grid resilience for utilities

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A new white paper from PXiSE presents the case for distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) as the next step utilities should consider on their path toward renewables and resilience.


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PXiSE says that “a distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) can help utilities navigate challenges and create a road map to a fully renewable, multidirectional, resilient grid.” The paper explains that utilities must use a broader definition of DERMS than is traditionally used. Rather than just thinking of a it as a means to operate a virtual power plant, we should think of the technology instead as “a distributed layer of control that allows utilities to operate a grid with high DER penetration.”

The paper outlines five ways that DERMS can address grid challenges stemming from the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs). They provide responsive control as well as digital accuracy and speed. They expand local hosting capacity to maximize the number of DERs, microgrids and other renewable assets handled by each system. They also provide improved cybersecurity and help utilities gain regulatory support for their grid road map.

“DERMS automate individual and aggregate DERs, forecast environmental impacts on operational conditions to maximize use of assets and improve power quality by smoothing power output with ramp control during periods of intermittency.” — PXiSE, “DERMS: Yes or No for Your Utility?

According to the paper, “An ideal scenario for DERMS as a distributed layer of control occurs when there is high adoption of distributed solar across a service territory, an area is aggressively pursuing EV adoption, the utility has strong customer engagement programs as well as the desire and capability to manage customer resources, and the utility wants to limit power shutoffs or DER energy curtailment.” The paper illustrates this point with the example of Horizon Power in Western Australia. Horizon Power utilized a distributed energy resource management system to successfully balance and coordinate the coastal community of Onslow’s solar and battery storage, ultimately improving the area’s electricity reliability.

The paper also presents four next steps utilities should consider when deciding how they might use DERMS. Download this white paper for free from the Microgrid Knowledge white paper library.

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