Deploy DERs at scales providing locational, economic, resilience value
One advantage of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) is that incremental renewables and storage are financed with distributed—instead of collective—investment. A significant limitation is they are owned by and operated for the benefit of those who made those investments. At the moment, most of these privately-held resources are not dispatchable, meaning that the entities that plan, control, and manage the flow of electricity to the grid cannot count on those resources being available for the public at large.
And while DERs are often not the cheapest way to produce electrons, they can provide other value, especially when generation resources are integrated with storage or microgrids
In order to advance penetration of DERs, new regulatory and transaction issues needs to be resolved
Expand customer awareness and engagement
Creative approaches are working
There are examples of disadvantaged communities, with residents who cannot afford to participate in conventional community solar subscription programs, that are monetizing the commodity output of DERs through guaranteed off-takers (utilities or local corporations) and distributing the proceeds through established energy assistance providers. Because “ownership” of shared resources is virtual, the symbolism can be extended to combine small, visible assets (like solar bus stop shelters or parking canopies) with more productive, large-scale solar or wind farms that could be sited in remote locations.
See actual projects in the Resources Section