One thing is certain: increasing DER penetration can’t be handled with the old way of doing things. You need full visibility across all the DERs coming online, or face the risk of backfeeds, voltage issues, etc. And you need to be able to cut through the complexity of the different types of DERs, their multidirectional power flows, their varying capacities, and more.
And if your utility still relies on traditional grid management (and point solutions), the volume of DER data you’ll soon have to handle will become overwhelming.
It’s simply too hard to control and too hard to predict.
That’s why forward-thinking utility leaders are turning to grid orchestration.
What exactly is grid orchestration? According to Gartner, it involves:
“Prescribing and negotiating interactions between components – to enable recomposition and forming processes.”
That’s a pretty complex description. Translated into more rudimentary language, it basically means bringing different systems and data together, so they exist and interact in the same space, rather than sitting in silos.
In the context of overseeing a DER ecosystem, grid orchestration brings an essential level of control and clarity. It allows utilities to visualize and orchestrate potentially millions of energy sources in a centralized way.
Grid orchestration further allows utilities to control the amount of downstream DER data sent back to the grid. As a result, you can prevent your control teams from being swamped by data — a crucial intervention to ensure your staff can work efficiently and make informed decisions.