News Article | February 1, 2016
ROCHESTER, N.Y., Feb. 1, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NYSEG and RG &E, subsidiaries of AVANGRID, are preparing to roll out an innovative technology aimed at making it easier and more efficient for large-scale producers of renewable energy resources to connect to the electric power grid. The utilities' Flexible Interconnect Capacity Solution (FICS) demonstration project supports New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative. NYSEG and RG &E are collaborating with Scottish technology firm Smarter Grid Solutions to test the new interconnect approach. "We're introducing a transformational technology that can open up the grid to more renewable generation development," said Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG &E. "It's an opportunity to spur investment in clean energy resources and to support REV." NYSEG and RG &E will test Smarter Grid Solutions' Active Network Management (ANM) technology to help accommodate larger amounts of solar-generated electricity on the lower-voltage distribution electric delivery system without jeopardizing the safe and reliable operation of the grid. ANM can also support interconnection of wind, hydro and biomass/biogas generated electricity. In the United Kingdom, Smarter Grid Solutions helped Iberdrola's Scottish subsidiary, SP Energy Networks, support faster integration of renewable energy resources onto its grid. "Our partnership with Smarter Grid Solutions reflects the benefits of being part of a global company," said Bob Kump, CEO of the AVANGRID utilities. "We will be able to leverage the experience of our sister company in Scotland to support New York's renewable energy industry and REV." Developers of renewable energy projects frequently face delays and costly upgrades before connecting to utility networks to ensure their projects won't compromise the grid's reliability. In many cases, the time and expense has made potential projects too costly to build. With Smarter Grid Solution's technology, utilities like NYSEG and RG &E can monitor and control the output from intermittent renewable resources on their systems to defer or avoid the costly upgrades traditionally required. The demonstration project with Smarter Grid Solutions runs through 2016. The utilities and the New York Public Service Commission will then evaluate where and how the program could be expanded. "Innovative technology to solve the challenges of grid interconnections can help us expand the benefits of distributed generation, lower electricity costs, and improve the environment by bringing on sustainable energy sources such as solar," said Jeff Ballard, vice president for operations technology and business transformation. "We are delighted to be contributing to the work of REV and the objectives of AVANGRID," said Bob Currie, chief technology officer and co-founder of Smarter Grid Solutions. "Active Network Management is a transformational technology and has repeatedly reduced grid integration costs by up to 90% for new renewable generator connections, increasing the capacity to accommodate wind and solar by 100-200% and avoiding grid upgrades that can exceed $50 million. We expect the FICS project to deliver significant benefits to generation developers in New York by providing quicker and less expensive grid connections. We are excited to be partnering with AVANGRID on this fantastic and timely project and demonstrating the role our technology can play in implementing REV." About Smarter Grid Solutions Smarter Grid Solutions delivers products and services that enable electricity distribution companies and regulated utilities to integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DER). The company provides world-leading Active Network Management products, and is the only provider to uniquely combine real-time, autonomous and deterministic control into its Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) solutions. Its products are transforming the utilization and resiliency of the grid, and managing connected customers at greatly reduced cost, without compromising safety and security. It supports customers worldwide from its offices in New York, London and Glasgow, U.K. The company was formed in 2008, originating from the world-renowned Institute for Energy and Environment at the University of Strathclyde, and it is a leading vendor of DER integration solutions. It established its offices in New York in 2013, and is now an active contributor to the development of the Smart Grid in many parts of North America. For more information, visit: www.smartergrid.com/us AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE:AGR) is a diversified energy and utility company with $30 billion in assets and operations in 25 states. The company operates regulated utilities, electricity generation, and natural gas storage through three primary lines of business. Iberdrola USA Networks includes eight electric and natural gas utilities serving 3.1 million customers in New York and New England. Iberdrola Renewables operates 6.3 gigawatts of electricity capacity, primarily through wind power, in states across the U.S. Iberdrola Energy Holdings operates 120 Bcf of owned or contracted natural gas storage and hub service facilities in the South and West. AVANGRID employs 7,000 people. The company was formed as a business combination between Iberdrola USA and UIL Holdings in 2015. AVANGRID remains an affiliate of the Iberdrola Group, a worldwide leader in the energy industry. About NYSEG and RG &E: NYSEG and RG &E are subsidiaries of AVANGRID. NYSEG serves 883,000 electricity customers and 264,000 natural gas customers across more than 40% of upstate New York. RG &E serves 371,000 electricity customers and 307,000 natural gas customers in a nine-county region centered on the City of Rochester. For more information, visit www.nyseg.com and www.rge.com Follow Us on Twitter: @NYSEandG and @RGandE Follow Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NYSEG https://www.facebook.com/RochGandE
News Article | July 19, 2017
The term “distributed energy resource management system,” or DERMS, is used to describe a wide array of software platforms serving a number of functions, from controlling and aggregating fleets of behind-the-meter energy assets, to enabling utilities to integrate these distributed energy resources into their grids. But according to GTM Research’s newly released North American DER Management Systems 2017 report, a true “enterprise DERMS” platform -- one that includes all of the above, without kludgy multi-vendor integrations, and outside the realm of pilot projects -- doesn’t exist today. “This isn’t about interconnection or hosting capacity analysis, operations and maintenance, or long-term management of distributed energy resources (DERs) -- this is about how we manage the grid and DERs in real time,” said Ben Kellison, director of grid research at GTM Research, referring to a new set of categories used in the DERMS report. “Because of the definitional change, we became more stringent about what we call spending on these solutions.” Applying this to GTM Research’s new North American DERMS market forecast yielded a “pretty bleak” figure, he said -- a little over $380 million in cumulative spending through 2021. That’s not much more than the $300+ million in venture capital investment raised by DERMS-related companies since 2010. The forecast also reflects slower-than-expected progress in DER-to-wholesale-energy market integration in Texas, and early-adopting utilities that have hit regulatory and technological hurdles that have pushed spending into future years. San Diego Gas & Electric, which started its $57.4 million DERMS project in 2012, appears likely to spend half or less of that amount by the end of 2018, to take one extreme example. At present, the majority of projected spending is for pilot projects and demonstrations, and the report notes that it will likely be two to three years before an initial set of utilities pursues full deployments, with broader adoption occurring beyond 2021. DERMS activity has been largely concentrated in a handful of states that are aggressively addressing distributed energy integration with major policy reforms, including California, Hawaii and New York. Texas and Washington state are close runners-up, however, and 17 states have at least one pilot project underway. Still, these low numbers belie the growing need for DERMS solutions, Kellison said. “There are more and more DERs on the grid, more and more controllable loads on the grid. And with things like solar PV that have interacted completely passively with the grid, they’re having some of their value streams questioned in some states, or altered in other states. So they’re having to seek out additional values.” GTM Research defines the existing DERMS landscape in three categories: edge, fleet and central. Central DERMS are extensions of the distribution management systems or advanced distribution management systems platforms that give visibility and control to utility operators today. Notable examples include Pacific Gas & Electric choosing General Electric to build its DERMS platform, San Diego Gas & Electric’s work with Colorado-based startup Spirae, and Hawaiian Electric’s partnership with Siemens on its SHINES distributed energy-grid integration project. Kellison noted that GE and Siemens fall into the category of companies for which DERMS is just one piece of a much broader set of software and equipment business with their big utility customers. While the DERMS-specific spending may be low, it often comes as part of larger deals. “They’re not all chasing $25 million or $40 million contracts," said Kellison. "They’re chasing more than that.” Edge DERMS setups, also known as “active network management” systems, take the utilities a step further into DER control through SCADA controls to utility assets, and cellular- or broadband-to-Wi-Fi connections to behind-the-meter assets. These are faster-acting, and require some amount of edge computing to manage the task of getting lots of devices to act in concert with local and system-wide grid needs. Some vendors rolling out this kind of system include Smarter Grid Solutions with Southern California Edison, and, as GTM Research understands it, Enbala Power Networks with one of California's big three investor-owned utilities. Fleet DERMS is the broadest category, and includes software that can enable utilities or aggregators to dispatch lots of DERs for economic opportunities. Notable examples include San Antonio, Texas-based CPS Energy’s work with AutoGrid to manage up to 165 megawatts of diverse DERs and controllable loads, and New York utility Con Edison’s work with Sunverge on its non-wires alternatives pilot. This category also includes a number of alternative descriptions, such as DER aggregation, or (if it can meet certain energy, ancillary services and reliability needs) virtual power plants. Finally, there’s the enterprise DERMS category, which essentially includes all three previous categories in a unified platform to “manage all DERs on the grid across customer, utility and wholesale market objectives.” This doesn’t really exist yet, although Texas municipal utility Austin Energy’s Department of Energy-funded SHINES project comes close. Austin Energy's use of Doosan GridTech’s platform to manage residential, commercial and utility DERs, on its own and through aggregators, on both economic and reliability measures, merits mention as a “partial fulfillment” of the description. Other pilot projects are aiming at enterprise-level integrations, but as of today, “You can’t get everything packaged and organized in an efficient manner -- it requires multiple vendors to get there,” Kellison said. GTM Research has laid out a graphic that explains how central, edge and fleet platforms must evolve to meet the need for this grand integrated approach to managing DERs, shown below. The North American DER Management Systems 2017 report mentioned in this article is part of GTM Research's Grid Edge Service. Learn more here.
News Article | August 8, 2017
Over the past decade, Cincinnati-based startup Integral Analytics has built a software suite that’s helping utilities around the country integrate distributed energy resources for real-time grid operations or decades-long planning horizons. Now IA’s software and customer base will be boosting the business of Willdan Group. The Anaheim, Calif.-based engineering design and services firm announced last week that it’s acquiring Integral Analytics in a deal worth up to $30 million, depending on performance over the next three years. According to Willdan’s 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the acquisition will include $15 million in cash paid at closing, a purchase of common stock valued at $3 million, and up to $12 million to be paid “for a percentage of sales attributable to the business of Integral Analytics” over the next three years. These “earn-out payments” will be calculated as 2 percent of gross contracted revenue for new work generated “in close collaboration with Integral Analytics,” as well as 20 percent of gross contracted revenue for each software licensing agreement it lands over the three-year period. In other words, Willdan will be looking to incorporate Integral Analytics’ capabilities into its existing business lines, as well as profiting from continued growth in grid-DER planning software. Integral Analytics offers a source of recurring revenues from software licenses to augment Willdan's project-by-project revenue models. In the longer term, its analytics will serve Willdan’s broader range of work, which increasingly includes municipal and utility efforts to expand traditional efficiency programs to incorporate DERs, said Kevin Kushman, Integral Analytics' chief operating officer, in a Monday interview. For most of its 50-plus years of existence, Willdan has mostly served as a civil engineering department for California cities and counties, he said. But in the past decade or so, it’s expanded outside the state, with work in Arizona, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Washington state and Washington, D.C., and taken an increasingly large share of its revenues from contracts with utilities like New York’s Consolidated Edison. Integral Analytics has built its software business on its own revenues, with a relatively small team of employees. While Kushman wouldn’t reveal how much money the company’s shareholders are making on the Willdan acquisition, “I can say proudly that it’s a great success story for a company that was self-funded through its entire history,” he said. Integral Analytics, founded in 2005, is working with more than 40 utilities tackling “emerging system regulations in California, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Arizona, Hawaii and other jurisdictions,” with software designed to calculate and manage the impact of distributed energy resources like solar PV, energy storage, on-site generation and load control, and electric vehicles. IA’s software suite manages these DER impacts on both the long-term scale, through its LoadSEER (Load Spatial Electric Expansion and Risk) and DSMore (Demand Side Management Option Risk Evaluator) platforms, and in real time, through its IDROP (Integrating Distributed Resources into Optimal Portfolios) platform. Utilities using the software include Duke Energy, Southern California Edison, DTE Energy, San Diego Gas & Electric, ComEd, AEP, Seattle City Light and Xcel Energy. One of the most interesting applications of IA’s software is in creating “distributed marginal price,” or DMP, values for DERs at the local distribution grid level. It’s a term taken from the locational marginal price (LMP) values used by transmission grid operators, but shrunken down to low-voltage distribution grid scale. These screenshots of IA software show how it’s being used by utilities, including Hawaiian Electric on the island of Oahu and Pacific Gas & Electric in Fresno, Calif., respectively. In the course of working on a project together, the two companies “started to see that we were very nice complements for each other,” Kushman said. “They’ve been a project engineering type business, and they like the way we can repeat our solution in different places, and pick it up and move it across their whole portfolio.” Meanwhile, Willdan’s work with more than 150 municipalities opens up new potential customers for Integral Analytics’ software, he said. Willdan has been playing a role in some high-profile distributed energy-grid integration projects, said Tom Brisbin, the company's chairman and CEO, in an interview. It's delivering much of the energy efficiency savings behind Con Edison's Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management project, for example, and is working with many of its municipal clients on integrating DERs into their efficiency efforts. "When we do energy efficiency for utilities, Integral Analytics helps us target the congested areas of the grid," he said. "If we can reduce the load in the congested areas, it helps utilities become more efficient with their capital expenditures. That’s where we see IA really helping us." Ben Kellison, director of grid research for GTM Research, noted that the acquisition “positions IA more as an investment in internal capabilities to enhance program delivery” for utility efficiency, demand response, or distributed energy implementations. In that way, he said, it’s a bit like how NRG Energy has taken its SpaceTag distributed energy optimization platform, developed by its Station A research team as an internal planning tool, and brought it to market for use by utilities in California and other states. Integral Analytics is one of a small but growing number of companies with software taking on the challenge of integrating DERs into utility planning and operations. Others with similar approaches include Smarter Grid Solutions, Opus One Solutions, Spirae, AutoGrid and Enbala Networks, as well as grid giants such as General Electric, Siemens, ABB and Schneider Electric. The rise of DERs as a significant grid resource is pushing utilities in forward-looking states such as California, New York, Hawaii, Illinois and Minnesota to look at ways to break down the traditional separations between energy efficiency, demand response, distribution grid operations, and infrastructure investment planning, Kushman noted. “Instead of saying, ‘We need 100 megawatts of DR,’ they’re starting to say, ‘We need 100 megawatts of available capacity -- and fill it at the lowest possible marginal cost.’” As for when the combined companies will be revealing how they work together, “The time since the acquisition has only been a couple of weeks, but we’ve spent a lot of time cross-pollinating our work with theirs, and finding places we can collaborate on projects that are in flight right now.”
News Article | January 5, 2016
Over the past year, the Department of Energy has been putting an increased focus on technology to integrate renewable energy into everyday grid operations. This work has included opening loan guarantees to distributed renewables, grants to support field tests of distributed energy integration, and future funding plans to support the development of grid modernization technologies. Now the DOE’s blue-sky research agency, ARPA-E, is getting into the action -- or, as befits its mission, ahead of the action. Last month, ARPA-E announced $33 million in grants for its Network Optimized Distributed Energy Systems (NODES) program, meant to help 12 university, corporate and DOE laboratory projects that are trying to turn grid-edge assets into networked “virtual storage” systems. These projects are meant to “enable real-time coordination between distributed generation, such as rooftop and community solar assets, and bulk power generation, while proactively shaping electric load.” That could allow utilities to manage greater than 50 percent renewable penetration on the grid, “by developing transformational grid control methods that optimize use of flexible load and distributed energy resources.” This is not a unique concept. Distributed energy resource management software, or DERMS, platforms are being developed to tackle this challenge in one way or another, with grid giants like Siemens and Toshiba and startups such as Spirae, Enbala, Integral Analytics and Smarter Grid Solutions providing different pieces of the puzzle. Beyond that, there’s work being done by consortia such as Duke Energy’s Coalition of the Willing and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's transactive energy pilot project to allow lots of distributed energy assets to communicate and act in concert to solve local and system-wide grid challenges. Some of the projects funded by ARPA-E’s NODES program would help support these kinds of ongoing distributed energy resource (DER) integration efforts, while others would go several steps beyond what today’s utility grid control platforms and DERs are built to handle. Here’s a short description of each project and its aims.
News Article | January 6, 2016
Over the past year, the Department of Energy has been putting an increased focus on technology to integrate renewable energy into everyday grid operations. This work has included opening loan guarantees to distributed renewables, grants to support field tests of distributed energy integration, and future funding plans to support the development of grid modernization technologies. Now the DOE’s blue-sky research agency, ARPA-E, is getting into the action — or, as befits its mission, ahead of the action. Last month, ARPA-E announced $33 million in grants for its Network Optimized Distributed Energy Systems (NODES) program, meant to help 12 university, corporate and DOE laboratory projects that are trying to turn grid-edge assets into networked “virtual storage” systems. These projects are meant to “enable real-time coordination between distributed generation, such as rooftop and community solar assets, and bulk power generation, while proactively shaping electric load.” That could allow utilities to manage greater than 50 percent renewable penetration on the grid, “by developing transformational grid control methods that optimize use of flexible load and distributed energy resources.” This is not a unique concept. Distributed energy resource management software, or DERMS, platforms are being developed to tackle this challenge in one way or another, with grid giants like Siemens and Toshiba and startups such as Spirae, Enbala, Integral Analytics and Smarter Grid Solutions providing different pieces of the puzzle. Beyond that, there’s work being done by consortia such as Duke Energy’s Coalition of the Willing and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s transactive energy pilot project to allow lots of distributed energy assets to communicate and act in concert to solve local and system-wide grid challenges. Some of the projects funded by ARPA-E’s NODES program would help support these kinds of ongoing distributed energy resource (DER) integration efforts, while others would go several steps beyond what today’s utility grid control platforms and DERs are built to handle. Here’s a short description of each project and its aims. Greentech Media (GTM) produces industry-leading news, research, and conferences in the business-to-business greentech market. Our coverage areas include solar, smart grid, energy efficiency, wind, and other non-incumbent energy markets. For more information, visit: greentechmedia.com , follow us on twitter: @greentechmedia, or like us on Facebook: facebook.com/greentechmedia.
News Article | April 11, 2016
The 20th-century power grid is an engineering marvel, delivering power generated at central power plants to millions of end customers through a transmission and distribution network that represents the world’s largest machine. The 21st century power grid will be all this, plus a lot more. This new grid will require technologies and business models that can link utilities and customers to turn distributed energy resources like rooftop solar and electric vehicles from grid disruptors into grid assets. It will also need new regulatory structures and energy markets to allow the cost-effective application of energy efficiency, demand management and energy storage systems required to integrate massive amounts of intermittent wind and solar power into the grid at large. For the past three years, Greentech Media has been highlighting some of the companies at the heart of this transformation with its Grid Edge Awards list. This year’s winners include some of the country’s biggest utilities and grid vendors, as well as behind-the-scenes technology providers and software startups, and several projects that bring utilities and third parties together in innovative ways. Awardees are nominated by and voted on by energy industry stakeholders, including the team of analysts at GTM Research. The energy storage industry could really use some standards, according to 1Energy Systems -- and the company wants its software to be at the heart of them. Since its 2011 founding, the Seattle-based startup has deployed its software to manage battery projects at home-state utilities Snohomish PUD and Puget Sound Energy, AES Energy Storage’s 20-megawatt Cochrane project in Chile, Duke Energy’s Rankin battery project, and Austin Energy’s 1.5-megawatt project. 1Energy has also gathered a growing roster of battery and inverter makers, grid technology vendors and utilities around its Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA) Alliance. The MESA Device specification, developed in partnership with the SunSpec Alliance, is meant to allow batteries, inverters and other energy storage components to interoperate smoothly. The MESA ESS specification extends that interoperability to utility SCADA and DMS platforms, and potentially to non-utility energy storage aggregators. 1Energy’s ambitions extend beyond batteries as well, with the October launch of its Distributed Energy Resource Optimizer, or DERO, platform. The proving points for this application of its underlying software are coming through its work with original utility partner Snohomish PUD, as well as in Austin Energy’s solar-storage integration work under its $4.3 million SHINES grant from the Department of Energy’s SunShot program. Managing the complexities of the grid edge requires managing an immense amount of data, coming in a multiplicity of formats and time signatures, from a wide variety of distributed energy resources. AutoGrid Systems has built its business on analyzing and making sense of this data, through its underlying cloud-based unstructured data analytics and management engine, dubbed its Energy Data Platform, and applications developed in-house and with a long list of energy industry partners. Since its 2012 unveiling, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup has landed projects with utilities in California, Oklahoma and Texas, has secured funding from Japan’s NTT and Germany’s E.ON, the Bonneville Power Administration, and other partners. Its first application, dubbed its Demand Response Optimization and Management System, has grown from helping Oklahoma Gas & Electric optimize its smart thermostat-based load management program, to enabling Dutch utility Eneco create a “software-defined power plant” from responsive loads and generation resources at commercial and industrial sites. The behind-the-meter energy landscape is ripe with assets that can be enlisted to help serve both customer and utility energy needs. That’s the business that Blue Pillar has taken on. Starting from its roots designing and testing emergency backup power systems for hospitals, the Indianapolis-based company has since expanded into networking and automating control of a wide variety of behind-the-meter assets. Blue Pillar has converted this expertise and library of device data into a software platform, dubbed Aurora, that it’s now making available to utilities and energy service providers including NRG Energy. The idea is to turn its behind-the-meter smarts into a distributed energy resources management software platform, allowing for building energy needs and grid energy needs to be aligned. BMW Group isn’t just one of the many automakers that are building electric vehicles. It’s also building out a comprehensive strategy to integrate them, and the energy storage opportunities they represent, into a broader energy management strategy. That include BMW’s iCharge Forward program, which launched last year and unveiled its first major project with California utility Pacific Gas & Electric in January. It also involves the testing of “second-life” batteries in stationary applications, with an inaugural array featuring software from startup Geli, inverters from Princeton Power and Kaco, and EV chargers from ChargePoint and ABB. Earlier this year BMW denied reports that it’s planning an entry into the behind-the-meter energy storage market, although it’s also working with German heating systems maker Viessmann Group on a joint venture called Digital Energy Solutions to manage energy management systems at commercial and industrial customers in Germany and Austria. The country’s biggest utility is also one of its most innovative, in terms of bridging the gap between traditional utility business models and the grid edge. One of its most notable efforts is its “Coalition of the Willing,” which has gathered a growing number of companies to build equipment around common technology specifications to allow them to communicate and act in the field, sometimes independently of central control. That work has led to the creation of a new technical specification, the Open Field Message Bus (OpenFMB), now being developed as a standard by the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel. Omnetric Group, a joint venture between Siemens and Accenture, has played an important role in this work, taking on interoperability testing with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Duke has also committed to other interoperability standards, such as the MESA standard for energy storage, and is testing them out in real-world microgrid settings. While this work is going on at Duke’s regulated utilities, its unregulated arm is expanding into new business models through Duke Energy Renewables. The group includes acquisitions California solar installer REC Solar and energy management company Phoenix Energy Technologies, and it is working with partners including Green Charge Networks to bring comprehensive solar-storage-energy management solutions to commercial and industrial customers. More and more utilities are exploring how best to develop a long-term solution for supporting distributed solar, whether it’s through distribution grid upgrades to support net-metered solar or by seeking permission to own their own rooftop PV. But National Grid is the first electric utility in the country to collaborate with a solar marketplace, through its partnership with EnergySage. Its SolarWise Rhode Island project, launched this spring, allows customers to comparison-shop solar opportunities for their home or business and receive competitive quotes from prescreened installers via EnergySage’s online marketplace. National Grid, meanwhile, provides a long-term solar payment as an alternative arrangement to the state’s net-metering credit, with premiums for customers who reduce their energy consumption before installing PV. That potentially opens the rooftop PV proposition to homes and businesses for which it wouldn’t otherwise make economic sense, while also giving the utility some input and guidance for the process of bringing its customers solar. While other utilities, such as Georgia Power, have launched solar marketplace platforms, they’ve largely been tied to utility-specific offerings. National Grid and EnergySage are among the first to open the platform to the hundreds of installers linked up through the EnergySage platform. The startup has won the endorsement of the Solar Energy Industries Association, and is looking for other utilities that want to join forces. One might say that Green Mountain Power has more opportunities than your average utility. It’s the chief investor-owned utility in the state of Vermont, but the state’s alternative energy regulatory system has allowed it to bring novel business models and technologies to market, and to support expansion of solar net metering where other utilities have fought it tooth and nail. Green Mountain Power’s “Energy City of the Future” project is the centerpiece of this innovation. The project in Rutland, Vermont will combine rooftop solar, behind-the-meter batteries, smart thermostats, energy-efficiency improvements, and real-time connectivity to its distribution grid and customer data systems, with the goal of aligning customer and utility needs. The project includes Dynapower and SolarEdge inverters, solar installer groSolar, and up to 500 of Tesla’s Powerwall batteries, which will be made available through a first-of-its-kind utility sales and leasing program that allows the utility to reduce costs to customers in exchange for making the batteries’ capabilities available to the utility. Hawaiian Electric has been investing in many different technologies to help manage the increasing amount of intermittent wind and solar power coming onto its island grids. But one project in particular won an award for renewable-grid integration at this year’s DistribuTech conference -- its deployment of Gridco’s in-line power regulators (IPRs) to stabilize voltages on a set of west Oahu circuits heavily loaded with distributed PV. Gridco’s IPRs are among a class of new power electronics devices that can deliver an unprecedented level of digital control over the alternating current energizing the distribution grid, including voltage regulation, reactive power compensation and harmonic mitigation. HECO’s deployment, underway since last year, represents the first publicly disclosed use of the Woburn, Mass.-based startup’s technology to solve a problem specific to high-penetration PV -- reducing over-voltages caused by an excess of solar power, while also maintaining voltage levels when the sun isn’t shining. GTM Research has predicted that the U.S. market for these devices will reach $320 million by 2017 for the business case of solar PV integration, which is a particularly challenging problem to solve using traditional utility grid equipment and control systems. With its Gridco deployment, HECO is breaking ground on that business proposition. Over the past decade or so, Cincinnati-based Integral Analytics has quietly established itself in some of the leading grid-edge efforts underway in North America, with a suite of software tools that tackle both the real-time and the decades-ahead scope of distributed energy resource (DER) integration. Now the privately funded company’s approach is starting to bubble up into the regulatory framework of energy innovations in states like California. IA’s IDROP (Integrating Distributed Resources into Optimal Portfolios) software takes on the task of establishing the real-time values of DERs for dispatch and control, and it is being used in projects like Duke Energy’s McAlpine substation smart grid test bed and the PowerShift Atlantic project in Canada’s Maritime provinces. Its LoadSEER (Load Spatial Electric Expansion and Risk) platform expands these DER value calculations into decades-ahead forecasts and planning constructs, and it is being used by California utilities including PG&E and SDG&E. Integral Analytics has also coined the term "distributed marginal price," or DMP, to refer to the grid-edge values its software platforms deliver. The idea of DMP is similar to the New York Reforming the Energy Vision proceeding’s LMP+D metric, referring to the locational marginal price values used by grid operators, only broken down to distribution-grid levels of granularity. California’s Distribution Resources Plan proceeding has seen the DMP concept brought forward by distributed energy advocates eager to see it incorporated into the state’s valuation of DERs as grid replacements. Itron is North America’s biggest smart meter vendor, but it wants to be much more. In 2014, it staked its claim to the next generation of networked energy devices with the launch of its Riva platform. This IPv6-compliant, multi-communications-capable technology architecture, beefed up through a partnership with Cisco, was among the first from a major AMI vendor to embed Linux programmable processors in its endpoints, enabling its meters and communication devices to run applications that interact with a growing number of partner devices. Since then, Itron Riva has integrated with smart inverters from Fronius, EV chargers from Clipper Creek, and a number of smart thermostats, water heaters, pool pumps and other behind-the-meter devices. Itron’s New Business Innovations team has been experimenting with other intelligent devices, such as smart streetlights and solar gateways, and its Riva Developers Community has opened up its underlying technology to partners around the globe. Itron has also been expanding its extensive analytics capabilities to use in its new distributed computing environment. In October, CEO Philip Mezey set the second half of 2016 for the launch of OpenWay Riva, which will bring these new capabilities to the fore for utility customers. And that’s not counting the internet-of-things applications it’s looking for to expand its market beyond the utility. Kansas City Power & Light’s Interactive Energy Platform deployment is the utility’s attempt to tap the power of edge-of-grid resources to reduce costs of grid upgrades and meeting peak loads with new generation resources. Working with demand-side management software vendor Innovari, the utility has implemented a platform to monitor and control customer building loads and other edge-of-grid resources both to solve system constraints isolated to individual feeders/substations, and to improve overall system utilization. Innovari’s Interactive Energy Platform ties these multiple grid-edge systems into a generation-quality capacity asset with real-time, two-way verifiable, closed-loop control. That delivers performance akin to a peaker plant, but at half the cost and with none of the emissions. The New York Power Authority’s Energy Manager program may be the single biggest effort to integrate building-side energy management data with statewide energy goals. The energy monitoring operations center at SUNY Polytechnic Institute will provide comprehensive energy reporting for more than 3,000 public buildings, in order to help to meet the state’s BuildSmart NY goal to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent in state government facilities by 2020. Talisen’s Enterprise Sustainability Platform serves as the underlying data collection, analysis and reporting analysis platform for the operations center. The St. Louis, Mo.-based company has deployed with its home city and state on similar building energy management and sustainability software deployments, and recently launched operations in Dubai. NYPA’s operations center has a larger role to play in the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, which envisions demand-side management becoming a commodity on future distribution system markets. The agency is already working with other cities in New York state, and intends to support effective measurement and verification tools for energy-efficiency projects and to support NYPA’s demand response programs. We first met Ohmconnect in 2014, shortly after it unveiled its plans for turning home energy-saving alerts into grid revenues. Since then, the bootstrapped San Francisco-based startup has landed some big wins, capped off with the January news that it had won a bid to provide more than 7 megawatts of capacity to California’s Demand Response Auction Mechanism (DRAM) pilot. Ohmconnect started out providing homeowners with smart meter energy data and usage alerts to encourage efficiency. But it has moved into the realm of getting lots of homes to reduce energy use quickly and reliably enough to meet the local demand-reduction needs of utilities and grid operators, and earn revenues as a result. It’s also moved into the world of smart devices, including its work with smart EV-charger startup eMotorWerks, and a partnership with Schneider Electric that’s one of the first to deliver the grid giant’s Wiser line of smart thermostats and energy management devices outside of utility channels. The first big test of its combination of motivated energy-saving customers and demand-responsive devices will come this summer, when it will begin to deliver the megawatts' worth of localized load reduction it has promised for the DRAM program. California’s DRAM program has its antecedents in a series of pilot projects that have laid the groundwork for how grid edge-enabled DERs can play a role in utility and grid operations. It started with Pacific Gas & Electric’s Intermittent Renewable Management Pilot Phase 2 (IRM2) in 2014, and was followed the next year by PG&E’s Supply Side Pilot (SSP) -- the first-ever opportunity for distributed, aggregated resources to bid themselves into the state’s wholesale power markets. We’ve covered how companies such as Stem, Ohmconnect and Green Charge Networks have taken advantage of these pilot programs. But the mastermind of these pilots is San Ramon, Calif.-based Olivine, the “scheduling coordinator” that manages the interaction of these third-party resources with programs run by the state’s grid operator, CAISO. That’s put Olivine in the position of arbitrating the state’s initial moves from traditional centrally controlled, siloed demand response, into a new paradigm based on market signals and broad-based participation by distributed energy owners and aggregators. The DRAM pilot is the next step, but CEO Beth Reid has also told us that we should stay tuned for PG&E’s Excess Supply Pilot (XSP), which will for the first time pay end users who can absorb excess solar and wind energy, as well as turn down energy to reduce peak loads. What does the microgrid of the future look like? To answer that question, one could do worse than to travel to Lancaster, Texas to visit the state-of-the-art microgrid unveiled by Oncor there last summer. Working with S&C Electric, Schneider Electric, Tesla Energy and other parties, the Dallas-area utility has put together a self-powered island of stability for its on-site telecommunications center, as well as a test bed for integrating multiple distributed energy resources in ways that can also serve the grid’s larger needs. The Oncor microgrid (PDF) has networked four different sites at its System Operating Services Facility, involving nine different distributed generation resources: two solar PV arrays, a microturbine, two energy storage units, and four generators. It’s capable of islanding and powering itself at a peak capacity of 900 kilowatts for two hours, or 550 kilowatts once its solar and battery power has fallen away. Beyond the system's real-world uses, Oncor wants to demonstrate how it could build, own and operate microgrids for its customers -- something that utilities around the country want to do. Operating in Texas’ competitive energy market, Oncor has been rebuffed in its attempt to rate-base billions of dollars in grid battery investments. Perhaps microgrids-as-a-service are another way to bridge the utility-grid edge divide. Hydro One Networks, one of Canada’s largest utilities, has been deploying a host of asset management and grid intelligence technologies to help it manage the growth of intermittent wind and solar power on its system and its Distributed Energy Management and Storage Network project is taking on the distribution side of this equation. Veridian Connections another large utility is also innovating with distributed energy resources in the form of two residential microgrid systems, including 10 kilowatts of solar, 14 kilowatt-hours of batteries, EV-charging systems, and the GridOS software platform developed by Opus One. Opus One uses real-world electrical models and sophisticated power flow optimized state-estimation algorithms to help assess DER interconnection impacts, make real-time loss calculations, and enable the intelligent dispatch of energy storage and demand-responsive loads. The Ontario-based company's software is also being used in an “integrated urban community energy” project in Toronto, single-site and community microgrids, and volt/VAR optimization systems. With other North American utilities, it’s developing the information and intelligence to integrate data from various distribution automation devices, and develop and deploy applications that provide situational awareness of the electric system. Opus One is also engaged with utilities in New York that are focused on REV, the state's plan to reform their energy vision. The term “distributed energy resources management system,” or DERMS, gets thrown around a lot in the pages of Greentech Media. It's used to refer to a wide variety of software platforms that network, monitor, manage and control DERs for various needs. Some approach the challenge of connecting DER-equipped customers with grid operators, while others are moving from utility control rooms and distribution grid management systems toward the edges. Scottish startup Smarter Grid Solutions has carved out an important niche in the utility-centric approach to DERMS, with a software and hardware suite that enables real-time communication and orchestration of dispatchable assets. It’s being used by U.K. grid operators to help balance hundreds of megawatts of wind and solar energy and open the grid to more renewable power interconnections. On this side of the Atlantic, SGS’ software is being piloted by customers including New York utility Consolidated Edison, Southeastern utility Southern Co., Ontario, Canada-based utility PowerStream, and, reportedly, California utility PG&E. Last summer, SGS landed a spot to test its software with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Department of Energy lab that’s orchestrating a broad array of grid-edge technology integration projects. These efforts, along with its inclusion in NYSEG and RG&E’s Flexible Interconnect Capacity Solution demonstration project under New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, have won the company a place on our Grid Edge Awards list. In the race to challenge Tesla’s Powerwall for dominance in the behind-the-meter battery market, Sonnen is seeking top-contender status. The startup formerly known as Sonnenbatterie has built up a significant presence in its home market of Germany, where thousands of homeowners have bought its batteries and home energy management systems. In February Sonnen announced the shipment of its 10,000th battery, providing a statistic that may or may not match Tesla’s Powerwall sales to date -- Tesla isn’t revealing those figures. Last year it announced its intentions to move into the U.S. market, starting with commercial applications in California and residential installations in Hawaii, with 1,000 orders placed as of mid-December. In January it unveiled a partnership with PV manufacturer SolarWorld and roofing company PetersenDean, and announced plans to create an energy storage financing scheme with Spruce, the company formed by the merger of Clean Power Finance and Kilowatt Financial. In the meantime, it’s been working on new models for aggregating its batteries for purposes beyond the customer meter, starting in Germany’s deregulated energy market. In November, it launched SonnenCommunity, a network of producers, consumers and storage operators that can trade self-generated renewable electricity with each other through a virtual grid. It was about 25 years that Steffes released its first Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) space heating system that provided utilities with a behind the meter energy storage while delivering low cost heating to consumers. Over the next 20 years or so, the Dickinson, N.D.-based company has grown a sizable portfolio of grid-interactive thermal storage systems which includes both space and water heaters -- and now, with utilities around the world searching for affordable behind-the-meter storage assets, that portfolio is coming into its own. In 2014 Steffes launched the software side of its business, via its “dynamic dispatch” system that brings utility-grade telemetry and data analytics to the challenge of using thermal energy storage to help balance intermittent wind and solar energy for grid stability and reliability. The company claims some two dozen utility deployments, including Canada’s PowerShift Atlantic project and the Department of Energy-funded Pacific Northwest Demonstration Project. Steffes is also working Hawaiian Electric’s Grid-Interactive Water Heater initiative, which is deploying smart water heaters with technology partner Shifted Energy. This project is trying out water heaters for far more than traditional demand response, with use cases including frequency regulation and contingency reserves to mitigate the sudden loss of generation capacity. Pretty much every grid battery vendor likes to say that it’s trying to take on Tesla Energy -- a testament to how the electric-vehicle maker’s entry into the energy storage market last year has made the world aware of the fact that there is such a thing as an energy storage market to begin with. Tesla’s launch of its Powerwall systems for behind-the-meter uses and its Powerpack for utility-scale grid storage came with the promise of some eye-popping low prices, driven by the company’s ability to supply itself with batteries from its Gigafactory in Nevada. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has cited “pretty nutty” preorder figures for the company’s new storage system since the launch, with a long list of partners including AES Energy Storage, EnerNOC, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Oncor, Southern California Edison, Austin Energy, Green Mountain Power, and of course, sister company SolarCity. Tesla appears on target to meet its low price goals, according to a recent analysis. That will help it compete in the utility-scale energy storage marketplace, where Musk has suggested about 80 percent of the company’s battery business lies at present. Its behind-the-meter strategy is being bolstered by moves into markets like Germany, Australia and Hawaii, where the economics of solar-plus-storage are more attractive -- and muddied a bit by last month’s news that it has quietly discontinued its larger 10-kilowatt-hour Powerwall battery. Join Greentech Media June 21-23 in San Jose, CA for Grid Edge World Forum, a conference and exhibition showcasing innovation shaping the next-generation energy system. Compare different perspectives from utilities and regulators from around the globe. Hear from large energy customers and the companies and technology providers engaging directly with them. Learn more here.
News Article | February 24, 2017
In a highly competitive residential solar market, Route 66 Ventures has committed $130 million to Sunlight Financial, a provider of loans for residential solar systems. Route 66 Ventures makes credit and equity investments in the financial services sector. Solar installers and sales firms access Sunlight through an online platform, through which homeowners can apply for credit and sign loan documents. Mitsubishi’s American power subsidiary, Diamond Generating (historically focused on gas and traditional power plants) has acquired a near-majority interest in Boston's Nexamp, a solar and renewable project developer, according to Boston Business Journal. The deal will allow Nexamp to bring its commercial-scale energy project development and community solar to Maryland, Georgia and New Jersey. View, the Milpitas, Calif.-based tintable-window startup, raised $100 million in VC funding led by TIAA Investments, an affiliate of $882 billion Nuveen. View holds a valuation of $1.1 billion, according to PitchBook. View has raised more than $600 million since its inception as Soladigm seven years ago from investors including Corning, Madrone Capital Partners, Khosla Ventures, GE, Reinet Investments, NanoDimension, DBL Investors, Navitas Capital, Sigma Partners and The Westly Group. View claims over 300 installations in North America, with another 150 in progress. View’s main competitor, SageGlass, is owned by Saint-Gobain. Kinestral Technologies also recently raised $65 million in a Round C funding for its tintable glass. Enbala raised at least $12 million in Series B financing led by ABB Technology Ventures, the Swiss grid giant's venture arm. ABB just picked Enbala’s technology to build out its distributed energy resource management system (that's DERMS) -- a hot commodity among forward-looking utilities, particularly those in regions with lots of customer-sited rooftop PV. Enbala has raised about $42 million from investors including GE Ventures, Chrysalix and Obvious Ventures. Enbala's competition on the DERMS front includes grid giants developing their own platforms, and startups like Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Blue Pillar, AutoGrid, Opus One, Power Analytics, Spirae, Smarter Grid Solutions, and the recently acquired Viridity Energy. GreenSync raised $11.5 million in a Series B round led by Australian government-owned Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Southern Cross Venture Partners. The firm has shifted from peak demand management services to a software platform that controls and optimizes energy resources and battery storage. GreenSync appears to be a direct competitor to Enbala, AutoGrid, etc. The firm is taking part in a T&D deferral trial project and a "project in Australia that looks a lot like a REV demo." NRStor, a Toronto-based energy storage project developer, won an $11 million equity financing commitment from the Labourers’ Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada. NRStor has won contracts with Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator for utility-scale energy storage projects and is working with Hydrostor and Temporal Power. NRStor built Canada’s first commercial grid-connected flywheel facility, and is developing Canada’s first commercial compressed air energy storage facility. Its majority investor is Lake Bridge Capital. MineSense, a provider of data analytics for the mining industry, closed a $14.5 million round led by Aurus Ventures along with Caterpillar's VC-investment arm, Chrysalix, Cycle Capital Management, Prelude Ventures and Export Development Canada. MineSense's sensors and data analytics software can impact "both the mines' productivity and environmental footprint," said Victor Aguilera of Aurus Ventures. SparkFund, a Washington, D.C.-based financial technology startup, closed a $7 million Series B led by Energy Impact Partners along with existing investor Vision Ridge Partners and others. SparkFund looks to offer an "efficiency-as-a-service" subscription model to provide businesses with efficiency measures for a single monthly payment and no upfront cost. Why is long-in-the-tooth grid startup Tendril raising another $5 million in venture funding? QD Solar, a Toronto solar startup, won $2.5 million in a Series A financing led by Dutch VC firm DSM Venturing along with MaRS Innovation and Saudi Arabia’s KAUST Innovation Fund. QD Solar’s quantum dot-based solar cells use "nano-engineered, low-cost materials that can absorb the otherwise wasted infrared light" with the potential to boost overall power generation by 20 percent, according to the firm. ConnectDER, an early-stage firm developing a meter collar that lets residential solar connect to the grid cheaply and rapidly, has closed a $1.1 million Series A round through a collaboration between Investors’ Circle and PRIME Coalition. PRIME Coalition is a 501(c)(3) public charity that allows philanthropists to place charitable capital into market-based solutions to climate change. WattGlass, an Arkansas-based startup, won Series A funding from DSM Venturing for its anti-reflective and anti-soiling coating with applications in solar and other markets. First Solar acquired Enki Technology for its anti-reflection coatings late last year after receiving funding from Applied Materials, RockPort and the DOE's SunShot program. Pollinate Energy won support from Tata Trusts, an Indian philanthropic organization, for its "last mile distribution of social impact products" like solar lights and water filters in India's slums. Enphase has "refinanced and extended its term loan facility with certain funds managed by Tennenbaum Capital Partners (TCP) from $25 million to $50 million. In connection with the TCP refinancing, Enphase says it will consolidate its lender relationships by repaying amounts currently drawn under its existing line of credit facility with Wells Fargo Capital Finance and close that facility. Ascent Solar has shipped limited volumes of its portable CIGS thin-film solar charging devices, but Hong Kong Boone Group Limited still invested $20 million in its purchase of Ascent's newly designated Series K Convertible Preferred Stock. GTM Research analysts Andrew Mulherkar, Paulina Tarrant, Elta Kolo and Brett Simon contributed to this article.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FoF-08-2015 | Award Amount: 7.01M | Year: 2015
OPTIMISED aims to develop novel methods and tools for deployment of highly optimised and reactive planning systems that incorporate extensive factory modelling and simulation based on empirical data captured using smart embedded sensors and pro-active human-machine interfaces. The impact of energy management on factory planning and optimisation will be specifically assessed and demonstrated to reduce energy waste and address peak demand so that operations that require or use less energy, can allow this excess energy to be re-routed to local communities. The OPTIMISED environment will use semantically enriched process modelling, big-data generation, capture and perform analytics to effectively support planning specialists, manufacturing engineers, team leaders and shopfloor operatives throughout the systems lifecycle. These next generation manufacturing systems supported by data rich manufacturing execution systems with OPTIMISED technology will support a dramatic improvement in system performance, improved operational efficiency and equipment utilisation, real-time equipment and station performance monitoring, adaptation and resource optimisation. The OPTIMISED vision will be achieved by developing systems which are able to: 1. Monitor system performance through an integrated sensor network, automatically detecting bottlenecks, faults and performance drop-off 2. Continuously evolve to respond to disruptive events, supply chain disruptions and non-quality issues through factory simulation modelling 3. Improve understanding and monitoring of energy demand curve and energy usage per industrial process and globally improve efficiency of production line through reduced energy waste 4. Understand potential benefits, added value and impacts of participating in Demand Side Response (DSR) processes and becoming an active player in the changing energy industry, instead of remaining a conventional passive element that simply acquires a service from energy providers
News Article | February 15, 2017
It’s the first day of the big DistribuTech conference in San Diego. Grid giants and startups are unveiling their latest products aimed at connecting utilities with the grid edge. Let’s start with Enbala, the Vancouver, Canada-based startup that has deployed its software platform to turn industrial energy loads like pumps and refrigerators into megawatts' worth of fast-responding grid assets. On Tuesday, it announced its biggest partner yet: Swiss grid giant ABB, which has tapped Enbala’s Symphony software platform as part of a new, jointly developed distributed energy resource management system (DERMS). The term "DERMS" applies to software that can integrate the needs of utility grid operators with the capabilities of flexible demand-side energy resources at the edges of the grid. DERMS platforms come in all shapes and sizes, from grid giants like Siemens and General Electric, to startups like Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Blue Pillar, AutoGrid, Opus One, Power Analytics, Spirae, Smarter Grid Solutions, and the recently acquired Viridity Energy. But for the most part, they’ve typically been organized in two different ways -- top-down extensions of utility or grid operator controls out to customer endpoints, or bottom-up aggregations of customer loads into grid energy markets. Enbala and ABB’s combo DERMS platform intends to erase this distinction, Enbala CEO Bud Vos said. On the utility side, ABB brings a well-known set of tools, like its advanced distribution management software (ADMS) with its “single network model” and “unified geospatial control center operator environment." These are tools used by utility operators to monitor and respond to changes on their distribution grids. “Our platform is an extension of the ADMS platform, and tightly integrated with that ADMS framework,” Vos said. ”It provides cohesiveness, from an operational standpoint and from a data standpoint.” Enbala, in turn, brings a software platform that can tap into hundreds of individual loads per customer, collect and analyze their data, and then start to subtly shift their energy-use patterns in effective and profitable ways. Sometimes that means moving big water-pumping schedules to times of the day when electricity isn’t in high demand. Other times it involves turning thousands of water heaters and refrigerators on and off in response to 4-second signals to help balance grid frequencies. So far, Enbala has been aggregating responsive energy loads on behalf of its customers in frequency regulation markets run by mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM and Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator. As one of several partners in the PowerShift Atlantic project, it has also used its software platform, managed by employees at its network operations center, to help control customer loads to firm wind power for Canadian utility NB Power. In the past year or so, Enbala has been getting more into the distribution grid side of things. At last year’s DistribuTech, the company was demonstrating pilot projects in Hawaii using rooftop PV solar inverters, and a project in Southern California modeling big industrial and commercial loads’ potential to help balance grid disruptions. “We think we’re going to see hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of connected energy deices coming to market,” Vos said. “You’ve got to be able to optimize millions of assets in seconds, or even sub-second timescales, and with accuracy, to know that power is moving to the right places at the right time.” Enbala has also kicked its computing capabilities up a notch with its latest rollout, he said. “Under the covers of this release, we’ve updated our learning algorithms and optimization algorithms,” he said. It is using a software language called Erlang, originally built for the telecommunications industry, that can run millions of simultaneous transactions at a speed that allows for real-time decision making. It’s hard to define the DERMS competitive landscape, since it’s such a new field. But GTM Research predicts that the North American DERMS market will reach $110 million by 2018, as today’s pilot projects start to become operationalized at utilities in states with lots of distributed energy to handle, like Hawaii and California. And ABB isn’t the only grid giant trying to colonize the DERMS space. Take Siemens, which launched its own DERMS product at DistribuTech on Tuesday, complete with “tools that provide data and visibility across the energy system, from distribution grid planning to market forecasting.” The new DERMS platform is built on Siemens’ work on microgrids, a big focus of the company's efforts at DistribuTech conferences over the past few years. This work includes partnerships with startup Utilidata, as well as adaptations of the company’s Spectrum 7 control software into local grid applications. To date, Siemens has rolled out these capabilities in microgrid projects with universities and government partners, such as the Department of Energy-funded microgrid project with Case Western Reserve University and NASA. But it’s also linking those microgrids to utility systems, said Mike Carlson, president of Siemens Smart Grid North America, in an interview. On the data side, Siemens released an integrated application for its EnergyIP software on Tuesday, combining distributed energy management, virtual power plant capabilities and demand response on one platform. EnergyIP, built on the software of Siemens acquisition eMeter, “is architected for a true real-time, cloud-based IOT system,” Carlson said, capable of giving grid operators second-by-second control and analysis capabilities. “What we built is very modular, or scalable, or agile, components that you can bolt onto existing capabilities, and scale them based on size, or capability,” he said. The costs for standing up a microgrid range from the low six figures for simpler applications, up to the millions of dollars to enable sub-second monitoring required for certain grid applications, he said. But that’s “about half the cost of a traditional enterprise deployment,” since it has already combined all the requisite pieces of the microgrid puzzle. General Electric, which has invested in Enbala through GE Energy Ventures, has also been promising a DERMS offering, built on the work it’s been doing with Duke Energy’s Coalition of the Willing, and the Nice Grid project in southern France. GE has also been working with Enbala on a project under the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E NODES program. Vos noted that Enbala’s work with ABB is a non-exclusive partnership, freeing it to work with multiple partners. Right now the company has six projects, including two contracts for virtual power plants and two regulated utility DERMS contracts that are focused on optimization of distribution feeders. Make sure to attend Greentech Media’s Grid Edge World Forum 2017, our premier conference and exhibition focused exclusively on tomorrow’s distributed energy system. Join us to discuss and debate the latest issues impacting tomorrow’s distributed energy system, and examine the trends and innovation happening at the grid edge. Learn more here.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-1 | Phase: SIE-01-2015-1 | Award Amount: 71.43K | Year: 2015
eCAP is an innovative power network planning and analysis tool for self-assessment of network capacity for DG connection. eCAP provides Distributed Generation (DG) developers with the ability to analyse the viability of conventional and ANM grid connections prior to making a connection application. DG Developers are able to choose a Point of Connection (PoC) in the network and receive an estimate of the available network capacity based on the type of generation technology and rated capacity. Currently, no such tool is available to support DG Developers who are forced to undertake complex studies using specific power systems analysis software and sophisticated techniques to determine the available capacity at a given PoC. eCAP tackles this problem using a modular software solution based on original power system modelling and analysis techniques. eCAP deals with this complex problem while delivering an intuitive and straightforward interface to the users. eCAP has an intuitive, web-based platform for DG developers to consider the feasibility of ANM-based connections and allows DSOs to vastly improve their customer service by identifying opportunities for ANM solutions to free a large portion of network capacity that otherwise would not be accessible. It has been successfully demonstrated as a proof of concept as part of the Accelerating Renewable Connections project (2012-2015) in a limited grid area with many connection requests defined by the DSO, SP Energy Networks. eCAP will enhance and support the existing SGS real time control products portfolio with a new product in planning tools. This feasibility study focuses on enhanced market analysis, the benefits and feasibility of re-platforming eCAP for being commercially fit, and identifying the requirements and design of new analytical and user interface functionality.