The future is bright for smart grid aggregation and optimization structures and programs, according to the new Pike Research white paper “Digital Energy Networks: Mission Critical Power Meets ROI.”The growing complexity of distributed energy resources (DER) being installed directly at commercial customer sites presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge rests with monitoring and optimizing such a wide array of resources into a single smart digital energy network that serves both the asset owner and the host distribution utility. The opportunity lies within the ability to solve grid reliability and peak demand contingencies at the local distribution grid node level. Such ability would boost system efficiency, maximize the return on investment (ROI) in customer-owned generation and other DER assets, and ultimately, ensure the highest level of business operational uptime.
An increasing number of both large and small companies are tackling these issues with some success by deploying narrowly focused smart grid solutions, but few have been able to separate themselves from the pack. As smart grid platforms such as microgrids, demand response, and virtual power plants evolve, enterprise-wide management of these networks will become a key differentiator. Also key will be reducing the extensive custom engineering of control solutions.
The healthcare industry is a leading segment among the campus environment microgrids that have helped propel North America into the world’s top market for smart grid networks.
This white paper outlines key opportunities and challenges afforded by the evolving smart grid landscape and competing DER control approaches. For example, some reasons why a Fortune 1000 company might want to move forward with a digital energy network:
- Improve performance of critical DER assets that support business operational uptime
- Combat high and uncontrolled energy costs
- Move away from manual management of DER assets with limited or no automation
- Boost reliability of service from local distribution utilities
- Minimize expansive cyber security attack surface
The full white paper is offered for free on Blue Pillar’s new website. Blue Pillar offers digital energy network software that securely consolidates and centralizes the monitoring and management of an organization’s disparate energy assets.