As new, capital-light entrants to the electricity market begin to offer customers increasingly attractive DER solutions, traditional players in the electric power transmission and distribution space are faced with the challenge of adapting to the shift in capital by providing new services for both traditional customers and these new market entrants.
For utilities, that means understanding the impact of the shifting marketplace on their business and on their customers, and having the foresight to prepare their business to ensure that customers always have access to safe, reliable, and affordable power.
Integration and management of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) remained a prominent topic at DistribuTECH 2017 in San Diego, California, where host utility SDG&E reported rapid growth in solar generation as well as battery storage development, such as the 37.5MW Escondido battery storage project being delivered by AES, which is billed as the largest of its kind in the world.
Utilities were eager for guidance and support around the integration and management of DER. PSC’s experience with DER projects was a hot topic. Our work integrating battery storage with SCADA, to our involvement in market optimization for a DER pilot project built on an intelligent cloud, were of particular interest.
Amidst the enthusiasm around DER, PSC ran into many utilities interested in learning how to best leverage their existing technology, as well as seeking a sound framework and vision for the future of their Energy Management Systems, Distribution Management Systems, and Outage Management Systems.
PSC spoke with a number of utilities. For some, the business need was to get the most out of their current system, such as enhancing their in-house system modeling capabilities. Utilities preparing to upgrade their system were concerned about balancing their needs for reliable strategic advice with streamlined support of their legacy systems during implementation.
DistribuTECH 2017 set all new records for attendance, with more than 13,500 visitors from 77 countries joining the conversation at the San Diego Convention Center.
DistribuTECH continues to provide a dynamic atmosphere for industry professionals and thought leaders to connect and contribute to the future of the grid. We look forward to seeing our business partners and industry peers in San Antonio, TX, for DistribuTECH 2018!