Austin Energy earns award for innovative DER management


Austin Energy, utility service provider to more than 475,000 metering points in the US city of Austin, Texas, has won the Grid Edge Innovation award.

The award recognises the utility for deploying a system to improve management of distributed energy resources (DER) to enhance grid reliability and customer services.

The DER management software ‘DERO’, deployed in partnership with Doosan GridTech, will connect resources including two utility-scale storage systems, rooftop and commercial solar installations, customer-owned storage systems, smart inverters and a variety of other analytical tools.

Austin City used funding secured from the US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office under its Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV programme and from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

DERO was deployed under the utility’s SHINES programme for five reasons namely energy arbitrage, real time price dispatch, peak load reduction, voltage support and congestion management.

The technology provides the utility with data regarding the operations of DERs every five minutes.

The utility adopted the technology to learn how to maximise the value of integrating distributed energy resources and enable higher penetrations of solar onto the distribution grid.

The solution enables Austin Energy to better manage energy loads, improve grid reliability and prepare the city of Austin for its utility’s goal of reaching 65% renewable energy generation by 2027.

Debbie Kimberly, vice president of customer energy solutions and corporate communications, Austin Energy, said: “The amount of collaboration being done with our partners to integrate innovative solutions like Austin SHINES has been very encouraging. This project is paving the way to a more renewable future and providing more value to the community.”