CAISO secures regulatory approval for DER project

This week, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to deploy a smart energy project.

The programme aims to increase the integration of distributed energy resources (DER) with the electric grid.

The grid system operator will help individual energy resources too small to participate in the wholesale market by grouping them together to meet the market’s 0.5MW capacity generation requirements.

Steve Berberich,  CEO of ISO, commented: “This is a step toward the re-design of the power grid.

“We are seeing a shift from a one-way centralized system to a two-way decentralized system. This will open new market opportunities for distributed energy resource products and services, which will be instrumental to grid reliability in an emerging era of renewable power,” added Berberich.

The programme falls under multiple initiatives by various firms to increase the adoption of distributed energy resources to reduce carbon emissions at the same time ensuring grid reliability in California.

The ISO had submitted the proposal to deploy the programme in early March. Moreover the ISO is required to hand over a report on the implementation efforts in six months and an annual performance review for the next three years. [DNV GL provides certification for solar energy project].

“DERs are becoming an increasingly important part of our system because of lower costs and customer preference,” reiterated Berberich.

Distributed energy resources management

The news follows an early May announcement by global energy management firm Landis+Gyr that it has unveiled its new Energy and Capacity Optimization System (ECOS) designed to address energy distribution challenges for North American utilities.

The company launched the distributed energy management platform at Exchange, its annual customer conference, held in Phoenix, Arizona.

In an address at the conference, John Radgowski, vice president of solutions product management at Landis+Gyr, said that the ECOS platform would help utilities bring together demand response, distributed energy resource and voltage management technologies in a coordinated approach for balancing load and bringing new distributed resources online in the future.

He added: “Utilities are facing flat demand growth, increasing competitive pressures and grid management issues with the rise in distributed resources. Meeting these challenges requires the ability to apply the most effective approach to each problem.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.