Tomorrows Grid today

PV, batteries & EV’s as IoT devices

The following is an abstract submitted for a conference at the end of the year

So we put solar on the roof and a battery in the garage and power most of our house for most of the time. Is that all there is? What’s the next step-change and how close is it?

We are getting pretty good at optimising Solar PV generation, hot water heating, battery storage and EV charging in the home to maximise the value of the household’s investment. But how can we increase both the financial and social benefit of a household’s or communities expenditure in these distributed energy resources (DER)? And why are networks so keen to be involved in this decentralised view?

We can extend the reach and value of individual households by using PV, batteries (and EV’s) as Internet of Things (IoT) “connected devices” and we can turn distribution networks on their heads by providing network beneficial generation, storage and load management at the grid edge, creating real dollar returns for households and communities as well as for the electricity distribution businesses that support those household connections.  

Most, if not all, PV and battery installations already come with Internet connectivity and “apps” for the user to track the performance of their energy generation, storage and use, but the next step is to use that connectivity (if the owner agrees) to turn those DER components into IoT devices and participate in both social (Peer-to-Peer) and Grid efficiency (ancillary) services by offering generation or load (when it suits the household) in response to network signals. Grid Edge software platforms enable this market for distributed energy resources by having the ability to coordinate groups of homes with generation and load matched to distribution network constraints through the increasing amount of low voltage network monitoring facilitated by the same platforms.

 This is not just tomorrows energy today, but tomorrows grid today.

As mentioned, this is an abstract for a conference presentation that will explore;

  • The reasons why the electricity market will pay more than just the wholesale electricity price for new services from homes with DER
  • The regulatory changes in the pipeline that will unlock the value for multiple parties at the household connection point and deliver multiple benefits to the homeowner
  • The bits that already exist today to make this happen and how we, as the industry responsible for distributed energy resources, glue them together

I will expand on the points above in future blogs (especially if the presentation goes ahead!)

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