Great news about our distributed future: EPRI studies "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" strategy



Quick Take:  What great news that the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has stepped up to help guide us toward a safe transition to our new realities. If we cannot avoid a future of distributed energy resources and "prosumers" -- and it now appears we cannot -- then why not figure out how best to prosper in this new era?


And that's just what EPRI is doing with a series of new studies and initiatives. I urge you to study the four steps its recommends utilities should be doing right now to prepare. And don't forget step #4 -- educating regulators and other stakeholders. You'll be happy to hear that EPRI is standing by to help on that front as well. - Jesse Berst



 EPRI Unveils Study on the Integrated Electric Grid


The Electric Power Research Institute has launched a study on the transformation of the electric power grid. The rapid rise of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) â€" such as rooftop solar panels and high tech microgrids â€" could change the structure of the electric grid. Yet even as these technologies rise rapidly, very few organizations have looked at how these technologies could be integrated into the electric power systems so customers can enjoy the benefit of both the central power system and the distributed technologies in the most cost-effective way. The potential for this "integrated grid” is a transformation in the ways that electric power is supplied and used.


"The grid is expected to change in different, perhaps fundamental ways, requiring careful assessment of the costs and opportunities of different technological and policy pathways to fully integrate DER into the electric power system,” said Dr. Michael Howard, President and CEO of EPRI. "If we are going to realize the full value of these resources, while at the same time continue to provide affordable and reliable electricity, we need to integrate them into every aspect of grid planning, operations and policy.”

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