Nevertheless, the transformation of the electric grid brings fresh opportunities. The increasing penetration levels of distributed generation (DG) and storage provide additional operational levers for utilities to apply in managing the network. Embedded DG and storage, when combined with smart inverters, hold the promise of increasingly flexible, semi-autonomous operation. Strategic siting of DER can also provide distribution utilities with the opportunity to defer or eliminate CAPEX. In one notable example, a combination of energy efficiency and rooftop solar eliminated the need for a $192M investment in transmission projects across California.
Yet, effective DER management requires modeling and awareness of DER physical characteristics and locations in a broad range of applications, spanning the planning and operational domains.
GE’s DER Orchestration solution enables utilities to manage and orchestrate DERs in an end-to-end manner, from GIS and planning to distribution and transmission grid operators, to market operators and players, via flexible deployment options ranging from edge to cloud. With the right digital solution, utilities can address the uncertainties of DER proliferation and deploy decentralized intelligence closer to the edge to deliver resiliency and scalability.
GE’s software provides operators with the requisite tools to:
- Visualize DERs in both a geographic and temporal sense
- Understand current and near-term forecasted states of DERs
- Mesh consumption information from smart meters with load forecasts and status updates from the grid
- Disaggregate DG and storage from load
- Provide constraint management for distributed generation while maximizing renewable export onto the grid and minimizing violations
- Coordinate utility and non-utility DER to enhance grid resiliency
- Optimize grid investments and defer capital investments through non-wires alternatives
- Reduce physical and cyber vulnerabilities using real-time information and DER flexibility
With digital DER Orchestration, the operator gains the requisite situational intelligence to recognize developing situations and act quickly and decisively, orchestrating flexibility across the grid for both utility and non-utility DERs while unlocking new revenue streams and driving towards a vision of more autonomous operations.
GE’s digital platform supports the utility’s efforts to improve efficiency, reliability, and market agility. Continue to thrive by embracing the smarter grid environment and the speeding advances of distributed energy resources with the expertise of GE and the power of digitalization.