CleanEdge magazine recently posted an article entitled, “Can Utilities and Innovators Work together at the Edge of the Grid”, authored by Bryce Yonker. In the article, Mr. Yonker contemplates the need for utilities, regulators, and innovators to actively work together to incorporate new technological advances into the electric industry infrastructure, to the long-term benefit of all who produce, sell, or use electric power. We at Power Analytics believe all electric industry participants and energy consumers would agree with that statement.
In his article, Mr. Yonker insightfully recognizes that sometimes there is an underlying tension between utilities and technological innovators, as disruptive concepts challenge the existing electric utility paradigm. While the fresh and innovative thinking of today’s best and brightest engineering and technological minds can indeed seem disruptive—is that not how all growth, change, and improvement occurs in any industry?
Today, the electric utility industry is facing a myriad of challenges never anticipated as the industry developed. These challenges include: stringent environmental restrictions limiting large coal-fired power plants; difficulties siting and constructing new transmission lines; extreme growth in electric demand due to population center density and ever-increasing uses for electricity; and, finally, an ever-present threat to electric reliability from adverse weather and potential terrorist activity. These challenges, and many others, speak to the need to embrace, develop, incorporate, and expand the use of grid-edge energy resources, capabilities, and technological advances.
As Mr. Yonker noted in his article, the utilities, regulators, and consumers in New York, California, Texas, Hawaii, and several other states, recognize the benefits of incorporating grid-edge resources and making gradual adjustments to the existing industry structure. Nowhere was this more in evidence than at the recent New York Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Summit, held at the end of July in New York City.
Power Analytics was proud to participate in the NY REV Summit and to present our EnergyNet® solution as the most promising innovation for incorporating grid-edge elements (e.g., distributed energy resources—solar PV, wind, CHP, energy storage, EV charging, building controls, demand response, etc.) into the existing energy industry infrastructure. This solution was designed to satisfy the needs and wants of utilities, regulators, energy industry vendors, and end-use consumers, while also improving the efficiency of the integrated grid and the overarching industry financial settlement process. EnergyNet is how utilities and innovators will work together to improve the energy industry for the good of all participants. The benefits of the EnergyNet software platform will become evident as it is deployed across New York, as the Reforming the Energy Vision project unfolds.
EnergyNet is a patented, comprehensive, turn-key software platform for optimizing the operations of the integrated grid, settling the financial transactions created by new and existing market participants, and providing energy consumers, suppliers, and equipment vendors with sophisticated, easy-to-use, Internet-based tools for advanced awareness of energy usage, options, and opportunities. For now, it is intended to be used as the software platform for electric distribution entities to easily and successfully incorporate grid-edge elements. In the future, however, it may become the software platform of choice for the larger Regional Transmission Operators, Independent System Operators, and all other regional balancing authorities, for optimizing grid operations and financial settlements.
For distribution utilities, EnergyNet offers four key benefits:
(1) Grid optimization through the seamless integration and use of grid-edge elements;
(2) Cost savings through a more efficient and accurate transaction settlement process;
(3) Revenue generation through better market segmentation and an online “energy store” full of energy options and opportunities targeted toward specific market segments;
(4) Improved customer satisfaction and retention through enhanced consumer engagement.
For grid-edge consumers of all sizes, EnergyNet offers four key benefits:
(1) Access to customized energy information about usage, pricing, options, and opportunities;
(2) Recommendations from the distribution utility or other suppliers for energy savings, energy equipment purchases, financing, prepayment, etc.
(3) Improved payment process for any supply contributions the consumer makes toward the grid
(4) Creation of a localized, off-grid, energy marketplace where grid-edge power suppliers can sell power directly to grid-edge power consumers, through community microgrids, solar PV, energy storage, etc.
So, we agree with Mr. Yonkers—utilities and innovators can, and should, work together to improve our energy industry infrastructure as we progress into the 21st century, and are doing so currently in New York. Innovations like the Power Analytics EnergyNet software platform represent fresh thinking about how the industry can incorporate resources from the edge of the grid, to the benefit of all.
In very simple terms, EnergyNet makes sure the electric grid operates as it is designed to operate, that every energy buyer and seller gets paid quickly and accurately, and that all market participants have greater awareness of energy options and opportunities. EnergyNet encompasses the entirety of the power grid and makes it operate as a single machine—efficient, effective, resilient, reliable, safe, and to everyone’s financial benefit.
For more information, visit www.poweranalytics.com
About Power Analytics
Embraced by the power industry for more than 30 years, Power Analytics’ software is at the forefront of the electrical system planning and operation space for energy intensive, mission-critical facilities and microgrids, and currently protects more than $120 billion in customer assets. Power Analytics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Causam Energy, a leading developer of patented technologies and commercial applications that provide increased grid intelligence and optimization. Combining their innovative technologies, intellectual property and experienced management teams, the company plans to lead the way in solving power energy problems for the highly networked, next-generation energy grid. For more information, visit www.poweranalytics.com.