Smart Homes: Can DERs Keep Up?

by Parks Associates | Aug. 9, 2018

On June 26, 2018, Parks Associates’ Tom Kerber, Director, IoT Strategy, hosted a webcast to discuss DERs and the smart home.

Tom was joined by energy experts Richard Barone (Hawaiian Electric Company), Michael Brown (NV Energy), John Powers (Extensible Energy), and Tony Koch (Bonneville Power Administration). They discussed problems that grid operators will face with the rise of automated energy in the smart home, how to overcome these problems, how much it will cost, what kind of tariff may best influence smart home, solar, and electric vehicle (EV) operations, and what vision grid operators have when these things are deployed on a broader scale.

Here is a short recap of two of the topics covered in the webcast:

Biggest challenges being faced by grid operators:

One of the biggest challenges being faced by grid operators in the rise of automated electric systems is visibility. There is currently no advanced metering infrastructure for Hawaiian electric, there’s no smart meters to measure the production of rooftop PV systems in place in the state, according to Richard Barone. The Hawaiian Electric Company can infer the productions but they can’t really see it, so they are challenged with it as an operating system.  Variable production changing day to day, hour to hour, gives no uniformity in terms of the production patterns of the systems, which are some of the fundamental challenges grid operators are facing.

How electric companies plan to get in front of these challenges:

The first step to getting in front of these challenges is to be more flexible with loads, says John Powers. Treating these loads like light switches where the consumer has control of turning it on and off will make those loads inflexible with minimal to no control. Things like heating and cooling, however, can be moved around by minutes or hours without affecting customer convenience and comfort. The trick is to move in to programs that integrate all the way from grid operations to the customer home. The best way to do that is to move in to the market, build systems, and integrate large numbers of these homes.

To learn more, watch the complete webcast:

Tags: energy, Webcast

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