SGIP CEO Sharon Allan Joined Others to Discuss DER Integration

Early this month, SGIP President & CEO Sharon Allan shared her insight on distributed energy resources (DER) integration with other industry leaders in a webinar, hosted by Greentech Media, titled, “The Road to Seamless DER Integration and Stops Along the Way.” Presenters addressed technology requirements for DER, standards to meet those requirements, regulatory issues, business changes, and current activities for integration.

The webinar was hosted by Enbala Power Networks, and it’s President and CEO Bud Vos opened the discussion. He emphasized a vision for a clean, sustainable, and distributed grid while noting the significant changes utilities will need to undergo to make that vision a reality. According to Vos, the electric industry as we know it will no longer exist in 20 years.

Survey data Vos shared showed that 32 percent of utility executives believe their utilities will become service providers and network operators. His data also predicted that, in 20 years, 84 percent of U.S. energy will be derived from distributed and variable generation sources. So, we need a new grid, but how do we get there?

Pete Fuller, Vice President, Market & Regulatory Affairs for the East Region at NRG Energy Inc., was the next presenter. He gave a high-level roadmap for DER deployment, outlining the directions that the industry needs to follow, including:

  • Foundational capabilities of the utility platform
  • Alignment of the Incentives
  • Revenue optimization
  • Expected challenges along the way

Next, Rich Barone, Manager of Demand Response at Hawaiian Electric Company, reviewed a leading example of DER integration in the U.S.: Hawaii’s DER Management Initiative. He shared how the initiative is building a better market for DERs and refining utility operations.

Maybe the most important development in DER integration is collaboration, which Allan addressed at the end of the webinar. SGIP facilitates multiple industry groups related to DER integration, and Allan shared about their progress. She started with the Grid Management Working Group, which brings utilities together to discuss operations and architecture relating to future grid control and operational technologies.

Recently, SGIP’s OpenFMBTM team launched an online collaboration site, which gives access to example code meant to help utilities in their research and development as they create communication between devices at the grid edge. Allan shared the recent success and why OpenFMBTM is important for DER integration. She ended her presentation by detailing SGIP’s involvement in the Orange Button initiative, which is working toward a widely-adoptable, unified data standard for the solar industry.

Click here to view a replay of the webinar.