Thank you, Minneapolis!  

GridCure recently hosted a panel at the global IEEE ISGT conference on the topic of ‘Distibuted Energy Resources in Unique Markets’. Bringing together speakers from Enernex, Solar City, and GridCure’s own experience, the panelists shared their thoughts, anecdotes, and predictions on distributed energy around the world.  

While many distributed energy resource (DER) related conversations and conferences discuss the more common technologies and funding processes, we wanted to explore the interesting and unique: what are some of the projects the audience wouldn’t have heard of?  What are the cultural pressures that changed how this project was implemented?  

Key takeaways and learnings from the sessions included:

  • A discussion on the regulatory ‘push’ and consumer ‘pull’ for many DER projects, and how the onus is on the regulatory body of a given area to understand the direction of their consumers want to go.  The panel discussed specific projects and areas that had successfully conducted this kind of consumer interaction to drive regulatory changes, and how one of the most successful practices was to ensure that feedback was always heard from a new voice: it is too easy and too common for a particularly vocal group or organization to dominate these discussions.
  • Cultural considerations are critical.  The impact of a DER program in many parts of the world relies strongly on the support of the local community, and when this community hasn’t been engaged properly the project ultimately fails.  The panel shared specific stories regarding how improperly engaged communities resort to stealing electricity or equipment, or how systems would fall into disrepair if the community did not feel enough ownership over its maintenance.
  • We’re in for an exciting couple of years in terms of technology.  The panel and audience in particular spoke to smart-inverter technologies, the increased ability to automate decisions on the electrical network through data, and the ever-increasing energy conversion efficiencies.  

Our thanks from the whole GridCure team to the panelists, IEEE and DoE organizing team, and the wonderful audience for the panel!