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Event category Webinars
The distribution utility system was designed and built for one-way power flow and relatively predictable loads. With rapidly increasing penetration of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) across the distribution system, utilities must address new challenges associated with this trend. Customers can no longer simply be treated as loads on the network because many now have the capability to be energy producers and serve as flexible load assets. This trend can be described as the “rise of the prosumer”. Utilities must embrace this new paradigm not as a threat but as a new opportunity to better serve their customers. This presentation will discuss technology trends that will allow for more customer engagement and allow for more participation with the utility providing energy and grid services. Specific use cases will be explored such as targeted Demand Response (DR), where the distribution utility can address grid constraints by dispatching DR only to where is needed as opposed to the entire system. Another use case to be addressed is the consolidation of various stand-alone systems for customer programs (i.e. thermostats, energy storage, building management, etc.) into a single platform for greater visibility of the entire portfolio capability to achieve optimal conditions. The final use case to be examined will be a look at the roadmap to provide distribution customer participation into energy markets. Understandably, some of the case studies to be presented will require regulatory and legislative changes to allow for full deployment, but this presentation will focus on the technology that exists today that will pave the way for utilities to take full advantage of these new opportunities.