True Grid Modernization is Happening at the Edge of the Grid

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Simply put, Grid Edge defines the undeniable transition of the electric power industry into a next-generation, holistic, distributed energy system.

We see the undeniable evolution from a centralized energy system to a next-generation, distributed energy system. By 2016 there will be a new distributed PV installation every 83 seconds in the United States. More distributed solar has been deployed in the past 2.5 years than in the 50 years prior, and research is forecasting another doubling over the next two years. With this comes a slew of challenges and opportunities at the Grid Edge:

  • Grid Modernization will largely focus on technologies and architectures to support a growing distributed energy system
  • Distribution Automation will evolve to support variable generation sources and the challenges they pose related to voltage, frequency, forecasting and overall grid reliability
  • Grid communications networks (The Networked Grid) will become even more important in the distribution grid, and reaching behind the meter, to support new requirements and applications
  • Grid Edge analytics will grow to be one of the most important segments of the Soft Grid
  • Distributed PV, smart inverters, distributed storage, energy management systems, new load types (EVs, etc.) and the management and control of these technologies become critical
  • Utility business models and regulatory models have the opportunity to evolve substantially given the trends at the Grid Edge
  • Opportunities for growth will represent themselves for new, third-party energy service providers and microgrids
  • Energy Efficiency technologies and programs will evolve to support smart, connected buildings and advanced Demand Response programs

 

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