Smart DERs – The Missing Link

Smart DERs are necessary to sufficiently expand the grid’s hosting capacity for renewables. With the advent of smart inverters, standardized around California’s Rule 21, the technical capabilities exist to allow DERs to provide a holistic set of services to customers and utilities rather than a single value proposition of unmanaged energy generation. While smart inverters have a significant amount of useful features, they lack the intelligence to utilize these features – such as data observation on grid voltage, harmonics and frequency combined with data on real-time energy demand – to make the kinds of real-time decisions that would result in a more resilient and efficient grid system rather than one in which DERs are often viewed by utilities as a burden.

This panel of experts in energy production and management, all working at the cutting edge of intelligent DER and energy management technologies, will discuss the following questions and more:

  • Are the impediments to distributed, real-time, DER management policy-based or technology-based?
  • What needs to be standardized in order to ease widespread integration of smart DERs?
  • What do you think would create a ‘smart’ energy system?
  • What do you think is a possible solution for real-time integration of customer-side DER and use data with grid data?
  • Do you envision that DERs will always need to be under the command of a centralized authority or do you envision a truly distributed network in which DERs can communicate with each other and make autonomous decisions that collectively produce a more efficient and resilient grid system?


Friday, August 7, 2020, Noon – 1:00pm (CDT)

Webinar Details:

This free webinar will be hosted on Zoom. Discussion to be followed by Q&A.

About the Speakers:

  • Jon R. La Follett, Ph.D. – Energy System Integration & Storage Team Lead, New Energies Research & Technology

  • Hossein Ghassempour Aghamolki, Ph.D. – Engineering Specialist, Eaton Research Lab

  • William Hetherington – CEO, Bandera Electric Cooperative

  • Arnela Smajlovic – Digital Grid Microgrid Management System (MGMS) Product Manager, Siemens

  • Shashank Pande – Solution Architect, Siemens