DERs can bring a lasting impact on the type of distribution grid in which they are connected (regardless of the side) on which these are connected. It is not important whatever devices or system it can provide electricity to – or even the grid because it can simply make the electricity more controllable.
However, with this in mind, the distribution system that exists today was not designed for large scale deployments and it comes with potential interrupted power flows that come from multiple directions. The impact that comes with it and the challenges of using DER became larger. Below are several disadvantages:
- The reliance of customers on utilities has the potential to be reduced in case of a distributed generation paired with storage and other smart inverters. In return, it can affect utility planning, operations, and other costs that come with it.
- The building owners compensation can be affected by aligning the individual values together with the holistic needs of the overall distribution system. This can be done in varying degrees of production or consumption.
- Energy regulators can recover the shared cost incurred in electricity transport with more granularity to meet values.
- The voltage variability can increase and it can bring impact to operational cost and the frequency of operations or equipment can decrease its reliability.
- The traditional generation should be quick to adopt the “duck curve”, a day’s worth of utility load that requires a steep ramp up or down. It can be as intermittent DER that suddenly increases or stops because of outdoor elements such as wind, cloud coverage, or time of the day.
- The distribution planning should address the increased risks that come with reliability and other related costs in a well-constructed manner. It should also meet the regulator’s basic requirement for economic fairness and the customer’s value requirement.
TE provides a set of techniques that can be used to address these challenges:
The engineers responsible for electricity distribution should ensure safe and reliable operations that come with good solutions. These solutions should utilize wires and non-wire alternatives.
The manufacturers and entrepreneurs can give innovations that help in unveiling good capabilities that are embedded in building, microgrid, and local levels of the grid.
The volume and capabilities of these installed distributed resources can increase and there arises the need for collaboration among the parties in utilizing the distribution systems. The distribution grids will eventually drive an automated operation with the possibility of it being market-based.
Different Policy Gives Several Technology Solutions
Henry Ford said that if the customers get what they really wanted, customers would have suggested a faster horse. The solutions provided in TE roadmap should require similar and quite the same innovative thinking from technological, business process, and policy standpoint.
The main challenge of this lies in the policy and business models – not the technology itself. For example, retailing power over utility lines is not legal in the majority of the states. As well as buying the local power and consuming it in insurmountable loads is restricted.