SCE and Opus One partner for California’s first customer-owned DER pilot


Canada’s Opus One Solutions has announced an agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE) to create “interoperable distributed control architecture”. The system will control customer-owned distributed energy resources (DER) such as behind-the-meter battery storage, rooftop solar systems, EV chargers and flexible electricity loads.

The three-year long-pilot project is a first-of-its-kind pilot in California. It’s called Electric Access System Enhancement (EASE), falls under the US Department of Energy (DOE’s) Solar Energy Technologies Office, and aims to improve the affordability, reliability, and value of solar technologies on the grid.

SCE will use Opus One’s GridOS Transactive Energy Management System (TEMS) to manage distributed energy resources in its Camden substation area. Through price signals, SCE will be able to communicate with and optimise the dispatch of those resources. This will allow SCE to explore cost-effective services for the grid through customer-owned DER, and potential new revenue streams for its customers.

The software combines a market management system with a customer interface to establish operating schedules for distributed energy sources that can meet grid needs. Learnings could inform grid operations to manage DER at scale and help SCE toward its vision of cleaning the electricity grid and reaching carbon neutrality.

“The industry term for this is security-constrained economic dispatch,” said Ben Ullman, Opus One’s lead product manager for transactive energy. “Historically, that’s only been done in the bulk system.” 

“Utilities need a way to effectively accommodate more clean, distributed energy on their grids as the push for decarbonisation of the industry accelerates,” said Mark Hormann, vice president of US Sales at Opus One Solutions. “A market-based approach, which brings time-varying prices to resources based on their location, helps achieve these goals while opening up new revenue streams for utilities and their customers.”