The digitalization of power generation includes many new technologies, all designed to increase efficiency, along with reliability and resiliency.
A group of energy industry experts came together Sept. 30 at Experience POWER, the virtual event supported by POWER magazine, to discuss “Microgrids and DERs—Leveraging the Benefits.” The session explored how data analytics and the Industrial Internet of Things come together, and how benefits can be leveraged into microgrids and be utilized more broadly with all distributed energy resources (DERs).
The session focused on what leads to a successful microgrid project, with the speakers discussing what developers have done to integrate DERs, and what technologies have been most useful in various applications.
The panel, moderated by Sam Barnes, COO of Commonwealth Associates, included Tom McDonnell, global industry manager, Power and Energy for Rockwell Automation. McDonnell has more than 30 years’ experience within the automation and power generation industry, with an extensive background in sales, project execution, and strategy.
Mike Murray, COO of Ageto Energy, talked about his company’s mission to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy by simplifying the integration and controls of renewable power systems. He and McDonnell were joined on the panel by Jeffrey Cook, a renewable energy market and policy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Cook’s focus areas include state and local policy, technology cost reduction, energy resilience, and distributed energy resource aggregation.
Cook discussed how to expand photovoltaic (PV) value, with lessons learned from the integration of DERs. “There’s a lot of DERs out there today that can provide grid services, especially when you aggregate them,” Cook said. “We’ve done analysis [at NREL] about how best to aggregate DERs.”
Cook noted load reduction and frequency response as two prime areas of DER aggregation. He discussed how distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) facilitate the process.