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Jeff Quigley
November 15, 2019

Safe, Reliable, and Affordable Is Not Enough

Remember when providing safe, reliable, and affordable energy was all that it took to run a successful utility?


Those were the days before distributed energy resources (DERs) started to compete with load growth and new infrastructure as the new focus of integrated resource planning.


At Virtual Peaker, we’ve described here how some of our innovative partners are maximizing DERs; showcased here how renewable, reliable, and scalable are the key ingredients to writing a great IRP; and offered innovative solutions here to how smaller munis and coops can beat the high costs of upgrading and building traditional infrastructure to modernize the grid.


We’ve also highlighted here how the customer is king when it comes to the abundant choices of how energy is consumed, and featured here and here how EVs are on the rise.


The consensus is clear. Utilities that fail to plan for the surge of DERs do so at their own peril, risking harm not only to their customers but also their bottom lines, according to a recent article in Utility Dive.


DERs should be a top priority for utilities. In fact, an industry-wide survey of energy providers positioned DER as the most important application to support in the next three to five years. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of the respondents to Black & Veatch’s “2019 Strategic Directions: Smart Utilities Report,” published in Transmission & Distribution World, indicated that DER will shape their distribution infrastructure in the future, followed by EV charging (56%), and battery storage (49%).


And there’s the real kicker in the T&D World article.


“The key drivers of distribution system investments that utilities are making to modernize their grids stem from assets that utilities often don’t own: distributed energy resources (DERs) such as rooftop solar arrays, electric vehicles (EVs), and battery energy storage systems.”


Contact us if you would like to find out how we can help with your DER planning or to request a demo from Virtual Peaker.

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