Exploring How Microgrids are Changing the Role of the Utility

In this video interview from Microgrid 2017 in Boston, Daniel Wycklendt, business development manager, distribution automation at G&W Electric, describes utility transformation in the era of the microgrid.

Kevin Normandeau, publisher of Microgrid Knowledge, asked Wycklendt about the buzz at the recent event, and what G&W Electric leadership was hearing from customers and industry other experts. 

Wycklendt explained that G&W, a supplier of power electrical equipment since 1905, sees today’s distribution utility changing. 

“The traditional hierarchy structure of the grid is changing. That grid was based on economies of scale and was based on providing reliable power,” he said. “But that reliable power was provided in one direction — to the customer.”

Now, in the new energy environment, that power is flowing in a variety of directions, and Wycklendt said it’s time for utilities to change in order to incorporate that new paradigm. 

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Today, utilities are going to have to provide or accept power from non-utility providers, as well.

“In order to do that, they are going to have to be able to incorporate and leverage not only internal microgrids, but external microgrids,” he said. 

As for what gets Wycklendt excited about these changes and the microgrid industry as a whole, he says it all comes down to change. It’s apparent the grid of tomorrow is going to look nothing like it does today.

The traditional hierarchy structure of the grid and role of the utility is changing. #microgridsClick To Tweet

“And ultimately, those people that will be able to provide solutions that work are going to be successful on that grid in the future,” Wycklendt said.

Daniel Wycklendt is business development manager of distribution automation at G&W Electric.

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