wind turbine and solar panels


Managing variable and distributed energy resources

A new era for the grid

Electric grid operators are integrating unprecedented levels of variable and distributed energy resources onto the grid, such as utility-scale wind and solar, rooftop solar, battery storage, and demand response.

Electric power industry transformation

The ongoing electric power industry transformation is ushering in a wave of variable and distributed energy resources on electric grids across the United States and globally. This report examines the current and projected penetration of these resources and explores the solutions utilities and grid operators are implementing to integrate them on electric grids while maintaining reliability.

  • Variable energy resources (VER), such as wind and solar energy, have been integrated into electric grids at higher levels than previously expected without compromising reliability (e.g. VER comprised nearly 44 percent of electricity generated in Denmark in 2015).
  • Building backup power plants is not seen as the primary solution for integrating VER. Grid operators are increasingly relying on tools such as improved forecasting, expanded regional coordination, and leveraging the growing wave of distributed energy resources (DER), such as demand response and electricity storage.
  • Dispatchable DER are beginning to be seen as valuable tools to add flexibility to the grid and integrate growing volumes of VER cost effectively. Modernizing the grid with information and communications technology and developing new market services are key to these efforts.

Download the report to discover the opportunities and risks for utilities and grid operators as VER and DER proliferate on electric grids, and to explore DER’s emerging role as enablers for integrating VER effectively and efficiently.

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