Category Archives: Distributed Energy Resources

Blockchain:  Testing the Waters

July 27, 2017 / Jill Feblowitz / Blockchain, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Sharing, Energy Trading

No one, except maybe a few tech visionaries, expected the Internet to become such a critical part of our lives. Today, technologists are constantly on the lookout for other game-changers like the Internet. Blockchain may be one of those things — and it could have far-reaching implications for the electricity sector. Blockchain is a distributed […]

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Virtual Power Plants: Ready to Serve a Grid Near You

July 24, 2017 / Jill Feblowitz / Distributed Energy Resources, Distribution Markets, Virtual Power Plants, Wholesale Markets

It’s been almost a decade since German utility RWE piloted one of the first virtual power plants, made up of nine small hydro facilities networked to deliver power to the transmission grid. The world of virtual power plants (VPPs) has evolved considerably since then. Check out what the panel on VPPs had to say at GTM’s GridEdge […]

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Next-Gen Flexibility is The Mantra for Grid 3.0

July 7, 2017 / Jill Feblowitz / Demand Response, Distributed Energy Resources, Distribution Markets, DOE Programs, Energy Storage, Integrating Renewables, Microgrids, New Business Models, Regulation

For most veterans of the utility industry, discussions about the next generation distribution grid hearken back to the 1990s with the introduction of deregulation and wholesale markets. Today’s “future” represents an even greater departure. What’s new is the rapidly rising penetration of distributed energy resources (DER) and the presence of variable renewable generation. Then too, there […]

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Enabling the Future – NECEC Panel on MIT EI Utility of the Future

March 17, 2017 / Jill Feblowitz / Distributed Energy Resources, Distribution Markets, Regulation

For most veterans of the utility industry, the “utility of the future” hearkens back to the 1990s and the introduction of deregulation and wholesale markets.  Today’s “future” represents an even greater departure from previous discussions.  What’s new is the rapidly rising penetration of renewables and distributed energy resources, and the prospect of evolving technologies (storage, […]

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Microgrids: The New Shape of Electricity at Greentown Labs

November 21, 2016 / Jill Feblowitz / Distributed Energy Resources, Microgrids

What’s the prognosis for the growth of the market for microgrids?  That is a pertinent question for entrepreneurial types in Cleantech.  There’s a slew of new ideas developed by creative scientists and engineers, but the timing might not be right from a business perspective.  There are even some old ideas that previously didn’t fly, but […]

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Uncharted Waters: New Revenue Streams for Utilities

June 6, 2016 / Jill Feblowitz / Conferences, Distributed Energy Resources, Distribution Markets, New Business Models

For the last three years, conversations in Europe, then in North America, has been about the need for new revenue streams for utilities.  Utilities are facing decline in consumption, yet need to make capital investments to maintain grid reliability and integrate renewables while satisfying customers who are demanding more options and shareholders who are expecting […]

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Big Meets Small – What I Learned about Solar at the Annual MIT Energy Conference

March 11, 2016 / Jill Feblowitz / Conferences, Distributed Energy Resources, Solar

The MIT Energy Initiative’s annual energy conference has it all.  It’s the place to be for a global view of the latest discussions about policy, research and development, commercialization of new technologies and business models, navigating energy finance, energy markets and so on.  The 2016 conference was no exception.  There is always something new to […]

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DistribuTECH 2016: “The Future Isn’t/Ain’t What it Used to Be”

February 17, 2016 / Jill Feblowitz / Conferences, Distributed Energy Resources, Microgrids, New Business Models

“Focused on the Future” was the theme of DistribuTECH 2016 and the conference lived up to that promise.  In the words of Yogi Berra (maybe) and others, the concept was demonstrated in Orlando.  The buzz words this year were “grid modernization”, with mention of transmission and an emphasis on the distribution grid, notably a distribution […]

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What’s Wholesale and What’s Retail: DR, DER and SCOTUS

February 2, 2016 / Jill Feblowitz / Demand Response, Distributed Energy Resources, Distribution Markets

Depending on where you sit – a demand response provider or independent power producer –  January 25, 2016 was either a good or a bad power day.  That was the day that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) upheld FERC order 745, allowing FERC and thereby, wholesale markets to have jurisdiction over demand […]

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