Integrating Distributed Energy Resources with the Power Grid
Early in the 20th century, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison debated and competed on the merits and benefits of AC versus DC. Later, Samuel Insull and Franklin D. Roosevelt sparred over regulatory structure. Today, technology and emerging regulatory policy are allowing the possibility of an “integrated grid” and “transactive energy.” The integrated grid uses our legacy electric generation, transmission and distribution systems as a platform for the integration of new distributed energy resource technologies such as demand response, energy storage and distributed generation (DG). The legacy system allows planners and engineers to develop and apply these new technologies that are physically and financially connected to the legacy electric grid at a scale and level of performance otherwise impossible. A safe, reliable and affordable grid is foundational to a robust economy.
But does everyone believe that? Can we establish a value for the very system that will make the integrated grid and transactive energy possible? Can we leverage the integration of distributed energy resources and demand response to improve the utilization of grid assets?