Defining Integrated DER
A confluence of technological, economic, social, and political forces is dramatically transforming energy policy and the way electricity is generated, managed, delivered, and used. At the heart of this energy transformation is the shift from a centralized, predominantly fossil-energy based model to a decentralized, clean, and more democratized energy model. Fundamental transformations on both the supply and demand side are being addressed with a relatively new deployment model known as Integrated Distributed Energy Resources (IDER).
The term Distributed Energy Resources is used in a variety of ways. In the context of Community Choice, we broadly define Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) as decentralized technologies and systems that can displace the need to use fossil or remote energy sources, and potentially increase economic opportunities in the communities. Some DERs generate clean energy locally, some store it. Others reduce the demand for energy, or manage demand peaks, still others make the energy supply more resilient. Integrated, DERs can advance all of these purposes. DERs can be on either the utility or customer side of the meter, with most being deployed on the customer side.
The integrated DER model includes renewable energy development projects (solar, wind, geothermal, small-hydro, biomass) integrated with: · energy storage · electric vehicles and incentives · fuel-switching of buildings and homes from gas to electric · demand response · microgrids · energy efficiency · data analytics · and the enabling data analytics and smart technologies for integrating all the parts.
Two key aspects of optimization of each technology is their integration and aggregation, which allows for synergies, maximized efficiency, and cost savings, and the means by which electricity and money are exchanged in the system, the transactional aspect.
Systems Integration. We talk about integrated DERs a lot, but what does it mean to integrate two or more technologies, is there a spectrum of integration or is it black & white – either integrated or not? What measurable value does integration bring? This topic will be addressed in greater detail as the DER Hub evolves.
Transaction Mechanisms. This is the critical issue of how transactions take place within and among DER stakeholders. Topics like blockchain and other means of lateral sharing and money transactions will be in this category as the DER-Hub evolves.